Man Denies Drunkenly Shooting at People in Pickup Truck
A man facing two felony charges after allegedly shooting at a group of people who were attempting to get him home safe from a Laramie saloon entered not guilty pleas Thursday in Albany County District Court.
Matthew Logan Hetzel, 23, pleaded not guilty to one count each of aggravated assault and possession of a deadly weapon with unlawful intent. If convicted on both charges, he could face up to 15 years in prison and $11,000 in fines.
Hetzel is set to stand trial Nov. 8-10. He remains free on $10,000 signature bond.
Court documents say Albany County Sheriff's deputes responded to an address on Rogers Canyon road to investigate a call from a group of people who claimed they had been shot at and were detaining the person who fired upon them.
When deputies arrived, Hetzel reportedly appeared highly intoxicated and said he had been at the Cowboy Saloon and Dance Hall. He allegedly said someone was driving his pickup and he did not know where he was going, and also reportedly told deputies that a truck had been following his vehicle and he thought the occupants were trying to kill him.
The person who reportedly had been driving Hetzel's pickup said he met Hetzel at the bar that night and offered to give him a ride home after Hetzel was kicked out of the bar. He added that his coworkers would follow behind in their work truck. The person said Hetzel asked him to take him to Mingles, but the person wanted to take him home.
The driver reportedly went up 30th Street at Hetzel's direction, when Hetzel reportedly retrieved a 9mm pistol from within the truck and proceeded to put rounds into a magazine.
According to the affidavit, the driver said Hetzel fired three or four rounds out the passenger window and then reached for the rifle between the seats. Hetzel reportedly fired upon the truck behind him while traveling down 30th Street.
The driver accelerated in attempt to keep the rounds from hitting his friends and later came to a stop in front of a residence on Rogers Canyon Road.
The man's coworkers pulled alongside Hetzel's pickup and Hetzel allegedly continued to shoot at them. The group found a way to subdue Hetzel until deputies arrived.
The men in the second pickup reportedly confirmed the driver's account of the incident.
The affidavit says deputies recovered four bullet casings from the passenger compartment of Hetzel's truck, one casing in the bed of the truck and seven casings where Hetzel was arrested in front of the house on Rogers Canyon Road.
Deputies also recovered the handgun from a place near the defendant when they arrived.