GREEN RIVER — Jason Lee Fletcher, 45, of Rock Springs, has pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of involuntary manslaughter in the death of his wife earlier this summer.
Fletcher entered his plea during an arraignment in front of Third District Court Judge Richard Lavery this morning. If found guilty, Fletcher could face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both.
Lena Lynn Fletcher, 46, was found dead from an apparent gunshot wound in her home in the 100 block of Clearview Acres west of Rock Springs on June 29. Jason Fletcher was later arrested in connection to the shooting on October 23.
Bond Reduction Motion
During his arraignment, Fletcher’s attorney Joe Hampton ask that his client’s bond be reduced from $250,000 to $10,000 personal recognizance cash because Fletcher does not pose a flight risk. Hampton said Fletcher cooperated with the police investigation from June to October, and added Fletcher does not have the money to run.
However, Deputy County Attorney Micaela Lira said the current bond is appropriate because now that Fletcher has learned about the potential length of his sentence, he does pose a flight risk. She noted that this was a crime of violence involving alcohol and firearms, and the state has reason to believe that if Fletcher is released he will continue these actions.
Lira added that Hampton has not seen all of the evidence in the case to this point. But Hampton countered that his requests made to the county attorney’s office for discovery have not been answered, and the state is operating under a “shroud of secrecy” because the less he knows the better for them.
“Evidence that might have been pertinent to determining Mr. Fletcher’s culpability existed, but was not collected” Hampton states in a motion filed with the court for Fletcher’s bond reduction. “Such evidence includes a blood spatter analysis of the scene, gunshot residue tests, and an autopsy performed by an informed doctor.
Lavery asked Fletcher a series of questions related to his length of residency in Rock Springs and his occupation. Fletcher said he has been a lifelong Rock Springs resident and worked in the oil field and home construction most of his life. He also said he has two adult children who are struggling and need his income for support.
Lavery said that there was no clear evidence of Fletcher being a flight risk, and that there were ways to limit his access to alcohol and firearms. Lavery then reduced Fletcher’s bond to $150,000 cash or surety or $15,000 cash.
A trial date was also set for April 12, 2021 beginning at 9 AM. Hampton requested a discovery deadline of December 11 to allow enough time to petition the public defender’s office for more funds to find an expert witness.