Defendant Sentenced For Injuring Officer

After fourteen years in law enforcement in two states, Owen Kimberling of Gillette was well aware of the dangers of police work, and understood that every vehicle stop had the potential to go from seemingly routine to life-altering in a moment.

 Seven months ago, Kimberling found himself in that moment after initiating a vehicle stop  on a drunk driving suspect. The highly intoxicated driver had no intention of being taken off the roadway that evening, or taken to the detention center, and a chain of events was set off that resulted in Kimberling being struck by the vehicle, perhaps ending his career in law enforcement.  

“I have two severe injuries. I have brachial plexus injuring of the upper trunk, which is severe nerve damage to my shoulder; and I had rotator cuff tears and labral cuff tears in my shoulder that were repaired during surgery.“ --- Kimberling

Before Kimberling’s shift was over, the suspect, Jesus Montenegro-Noyola was apprehended, and has since plead guilty to felony possession of cocaine, and felony interference with a police officer resulting in bodily injury. On the morning of May 5th, Montenegro-Noyola stood before the Honorable Judge Perry for his sentencing, and received five to seven years for the cocaine possession.  Judge Perry also made it clear the court did not take lightly the fact a police officer was injured during the incident, and issued a nine to ten year sentence for the interference.  Those two terms will be served concurrently.  Kimberling, who earlier addressed the court with a victim impact statement, said he felt justice was served in the courtroom.

“I feel that Judge Perry served as much justice as he could within the guidelines of the plea bargain. He is going to prison for a long time, and will serve out those (years) in Wyoming State Prison, which is fine to my family and I.” --- Kimberling

Kimberling says the events of that night are never far from his mind, but they also serve as a reminder of all of the risks law enforcement officers take while serving their community.

“After doing this for fourteen years, I have been in many situations like this, and it is definitely a reminder that you may kiss your family good night for the last time.  And that you never know what could happen around the next corner, or the next traffic stop.” --- Kimberling

Kimberling says although he is left with a lot of uncertainty about the future, he and his family are very grateful for the support he has been shown.

“I want to comment on the support that I got on Monday at the sentencing.  It was great to see so many law enforcement officers, retired and active, show their support for a fellow officer.” -Kimberling
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