Trial Vacated for Sheridan Man Charged With Sexual Abuse of a Minor

A hearing was held Tuesday in Fourth Judicial District Court for a Sheridan man charged with two counts of sexual abuse of a minor. Sheridan Media’s Ron Richter has the details.

Trial Vacated

At an arraignment hearing in District Court on October 4, 2022, Jade Hotchkin pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental impairment or deficiency to the charges of first degree sexual abuse of a minor and second degree sexual abuse of a minor.  The alleged crimes occurred between January 4 and September 20 of 2016 when Hotchkin was 16 years of age and the victim was 8-years-old. A mental health evaluation was conducted by the Wyoming State Hospital and the evaluator determined that Hotchkin was competent to stand trial.

District Court Judge Darci Phillips, at a hearing Tuesday, ordered that the pretrial conference and jury trial scheduled for February 6 be vacated so a supplemental report containing information from Hotckin’s juvenile record could be drafted and submitted to the State Hospital for review. The supplemental report must be filed by the end of the week, after which time the evaluator at the State Hospital will have until February 20 to issue any changes to the original mental health evaluation findings that were submitted to the Court on December 13. A new trial date and pretrial conference may be scheduled following the findings by the State Hospital if the defendant does not accept a plea agreement that was recently offered by the State.  If convicted on both counts, Hotchkin faces up to 70 years in prison.

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