Casper Man Denies Child Abuse, Huffing Charges
The man accused of striking an infant after huffing air duster this summer pleaded not guilty to two charges Thursday afternoon in Natrona County Circuit Court.
Tristan Timothy Meyers, 22, is charged with felony child abuse and misdemeanor unlawful use of a toxic substance. He could a maximum sentence of over 10 years in prison if convicted on both counts.
In a separate criminal case, also before District Judge Daniel Forgey, Meyers is charged with conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine, two counts of delivery of methamphetamine, possession of meth with intent to deliver and two counts of felony meth possession. If convicted of those six charges, he could face up to 94 years in prison.
Charging papers filed in the child abuse case state that on July 27, Meyers was picked up by two people who had their infant child in the vehicle with them. Meyers went into Walmart, bought a can of dust-off, and inhaled it later while inside the vehicle.
The driver said that Meyers "blacked out," then started "hitting the baby." The driver immediately stopped the vehicle, and a woman pulled Meyers out of the vehicle as police arrived.
A witness told police that Meyers, using an open hand, struck the infant twice on the right side of the infant's face. That witness told police Meyers's actions were unprovoked and only happened because he had inhaled from the can of air duster.
Meyers allegedly admitted to police that he had been huffing air duster for roughly a month prior to the July incident.
In the meth conspiracy case, prosecutors allege that Meyers worked with another individual to distribute methamphetamine in the Natrona County area. That case was investigated by the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, and Meyers's bond in the matter is set at $10,000 cash or surety.
During Thursday's court hearing, defense attorney Rob Oldham asked Judge Forgey to reduce Meyers's bond from $10,000 to $5,000 cash or surety so that Meyers could be bonded out of jail and report to Central Wyoming Counseling Center for substance abuse treatment on Monday.
Oldham said he couldn't understand why someone would use air duster to get high, adding, "The level of addiction is pretty severe."
Assistant District Attorney Trevor Schenk pointed out that the alleged child abuse happened while Meyers was already out on bond in the methamphetamine case. He was concerned that Meyers could be released from jail, then decide not to go to treatment.
Forgey decided to grant Oldham's request, saying that a meaningful bond amount still exists between the two cases. He also noted that bond conditions are in place to address Schenk's concerns.