False Reporting Charge Filed Against Alleged Killer

False Reporting Charge Filed Against Alleged Killer

Rene Daniels, Sweetwater County Detention Center photo

ROCK SPRINGS – Rene Daniels is facing a new charge after she allegedly made a false report against a Sweetwater County Detention Center deputy.

Daniels is already facing felony charges of second-degree murder or involuntary manslaughter related to the death of Emiliano “Chico” Morales III, May 24 during an incident at the Kum & Go on 9th Street in Rock Springs. She is being charged in the alternative, which means that if a jury does not find her guilty of second-degree murder, she can still be found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. She continues to be held at the detention center on a $300,000 cash or surety bond.

The false reporting charge is a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to six months in jail and up to a $750 fine.

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According to court documents filed Nov. 14, Det. Stephanie Cassidy of the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office was notified Sept. 22, 2023, of an alleged sexual assault conducted by a detention center deputy reported by Daniels. Cassidy is also a member of the office’s professional standards team and received a letter originally addressed to Lt. Rich Kaumo seeking a meeting between Kaumo, Daniels, and Daniels’ attorney regarding the allegation. The letter also accused staff of retaliation and abuse over the allegation and claimed to have made mention of the assault during her arraignment before District Court Judge Richard Lavery.

Daniels was transported to the Fremont County Detention Center during the investigation and she was later interviewed by Cassidy, where she claimed Deputy Colton Carlsen had placed his penis in front of her face June 11-16 while he was serving her lunch or dinner through the food trap attached to her cell. She claimed he didn’t expose himself to her, but would thrust himself toward the food trap.

While she was being interviewed, she depicted what happened using the door to the interview room she was in, showing Cassidy that she “leaned into a squatting position, saying she was in that position when she pushed the food trap door open. She claimed her hand was only a few inches away from his pelvis area when she opened the trap. She said she overheard both Carlsen and Detention Sgt. Katherine Byers laughing and telling her to “press on it.”

Following the interview, Cassidy looked at security camera and body camera footage of the alleged incident. Court documents state the footage showed Carlsen entering the BB pod with a food tray in his right hand and a set of keys in his left as the door was being held open by Byers. Carlsen approaches the secure door leading to Daniels’ cell, places a key in the port and standing about two feet away from the door, instructs Daniels to “push on it,” referring to the food trap. Court documents cite Carlsen as pointing at the food trap with his right knee, having lifted it at a 90-degree angle.

When Carlsen approached the door, Daniels was standing inside the door with her arms crossed and when she was instructed to “push on it,” she bent slightly at the waist and pushed the food trap open with her right hand, then took a step backward. Documents state the video showed she did not place her face in front of the food trap.

Cassidy also read the transcript of Daniels’ arraignment and didn’t find mention of the sexual assault allegation or concerns about the detention center. She also interviewed Carlsen, who told her that he was aware of the allegation Daniels made against him and understands that the food trap is positioned near his waist, but denied thrusting himself toward her face.