Man Involved in Shootout With GR Officers Receives 21 to 30 Year Prison Sentence

Man Involved in Shootout With GR Officers Receives 21 to 30 Year Prison Sentence

Matthew Culley. Sweetwater County Detention Center photo

GREEN RIVER — A 35-year-old Green River man will serve 21 to 30 years in prison for charges related to a shootout with Green River Police officers and threatening two juveniles with a gun at a shooting range on July 6, 2021.

Matthew Riley Culley appeared in the Third District Court of Judge Suzannah Robinson for an argued sentencing hearing on four felony charges of aggravated assault with no bodily injury today to find out how long he will spend in prison. Culley previously pleaded no contest to all four counts in February.

After a two-day argued sentencing hearing and taking everything into consideration, Judge Robinson sentenced Culley to 21 to 30 years in the Wyoming State Penitentiary with credit given to 642 days served. He was also ordered to pay $1,925 in restitution and fines. He was given a 7-10 year sentence on each count with count five running concurrent with count 2 and the others running consecutively.

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All four aggravated assault felony charges stemmed from an incident that occurred on the night of July 6, 2021, where Culley threatened to kill two juveniles at the shooting range and then later had a shootout with Green River Police officers on Barnhart Street. The state was seeking a 21 to 30 year prison sentence, while the defense asked for a more lenient sentence of 5 to 20 years.

Prior to sentencing, Culley made a statement to the court apologizing to the victims, their families, his family and friends. He said that night never should have happened and although he has no recollection of the events that took place on the night of July 6, he is taking responsibility for them.

“I am disgusted with myself and with being that monster,” Culley said about the incident at the shooting range.

As for the shootout with police, Culley said he does not have a personal vendetta against law enforcement and at one point he even applied to be a law enforcement officer in Lyman. He said he wants to get the help he needs to get better and is doing the best he can with the resources available to him.

Closing Arguments

During closing arguments, Sweetwater County Attorney Dan Erramouspe said he understands Culley suffered trauma during his military service and other injuries, but that doesn’t mean he can enact the same type of trauma to the two juveniles, the police officers, and the community.

“They did everything they could to keep the community safe that night from a man who didn’t give a damn…” Erramouspe said.

Erramouspe continued by saying those juveniles lives and their families lives will never be the same and neither will the police officers who responded to the call that night. “He’s lucky no one was killed that day.”

He urged the court to sentence Culley to 21 to 30 years in prison with credit given for 642 days served and $1,000 in restitution to pay for the police car damage repair costs.

“Anything less than that, is telling the community it’s okay to shoot at the cops,” Erramouspe said.

Defense attorney Isaiah Gross said Culley is taking responsibility for his actions and he can’t just be punished, but he needs treatment in a dual diagnosis rehabilitation program. He said someone with a mental health disease and alcoholism shouldn’t just be locked up without treatment. Gross said he understands the state wants to make this sentence a deterrence to others, but Culley already has that.

“If you shoot at cops, you get shot,” Gross said. “He has to look at his face every day. It’s a daily reminder.”

He asked the court to consider 5 to 20 years.


During the second day of argued sentencing, the defense called a couple of witnesses to testify.

Dr. George Glass

Erramouspe cross examined paid expert Dr. George Glass for more than an hour this morning about his testimony at yesterday’s hearing. Dr. Glass was asked why he didn’t believe Culley’s blood alcohol content (BAC) wasn’t the reason he was acting the way he was on July 6, 2021, which was the night of the shooting. Culley’s BAC was .259, well over the legal limit of .08. Dr. Glass was asked if a BAC that high could be why Culley had a “black out” of the events and not a psychotic episode. Dr. Glass said people who are manic have a higher tolerance for alcohol.

Erramouspe also questioned Dr. Glass about the black box warning he used in court to describe Cymbalta, which has a black box warning stating it can increase suicidality, increase risk of suicidal behavior. However, Erramouspe pointed out that black box warning he found about the drug pertained to children and young adults. His warning stated Cymbalta triggers suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, adolescents and adults under the age of 24. When questioned about the age discrepancy, Dr. Glass said the FDA frequently changes black box warnings on medications.

Erramouspe also brought up two criminal cases in which Dr. Glass’s testimony was not found credible in court, including a case in Texas and one in Ohio.

David Francoeur

Former Marine David Francoeur testified about the time he spent with Culley during his two tours in Iraq. While the two didn’t serve at the same location the entire time, they did serve together during some portions of the two tours in Iraq in 2006 and 2008. Francoeur portrayed Culley as an upstanding Marine who received a meritorious promotion, which isn’t common in the Marines. He said Culley was considered a sharp shooter and in order to obtain that designation in the Marines he would have had to hit the target 500 yards away without a sight.

While in Kuwait, Francoeur said he and Culley, who he considered his best friend, would run convoys, break down bases and provide security from insurgents. They were shot at and could encounter improvised explosive devices at anytime. While the Marines wouldn’t classify what they were doing as combat, Francoeur said a civilian would consider it to be so because they were getting shot at.

Francoeur testified to how much Culley was impacted when another soldier he knew committed suicide. He also spoke to how much Culley had changed after suffering from a traumatic brain injury from his motorcycle accident.

“To me, he was unstable mentally,” he said.

After the were both discharged, they stayed in contact over the years and Francoeur has tried to be supportive of Culley even after everything that happened on July 6.