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Charges filed in Pine Haven death

The Sundance Times of Sundance, Wyoming

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Melissa Kay Kenyon of Pine Haven has been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide after an incident last week that resulted in the death of her husband, Michael, after he became trapped under her vehicle in the couple's driveway.

"The investigation is continuing and, as of [Monday] the crime lab is going to do their investigation on the car," says Sheriff Jeff Hodge.

"No results are back from the lab yet, we're waiting on results. We should have more answers after that."

According to court documents, Deputy Eric Stevens responded to a call in Pine Haven just before 11 p.m. on Monday, October 26. He arrived to find a gold Chrysler Sebring in the driveway, its rear elevated by a floor jack, and a few people including emergency medical services and fire personnel by the passenger side, providing emergency care to Michael Kenyon.

Michael was allegedly unresponsive, according to Stevens, while Melissa Kenyon was visibry upset. Melissa told the deputy that she and her husband had been arguing earlier and he was being "naughty", so she hid under a piece of furniture in the residence before deciding to leave.

As the interview progressed, Melissa allegedly stated that she backed over Michael accidentally as she attempted to leave. She told Stevens that she did not see Michael in her mirrors, but heard a noise as she backed up.

Exiting the vehicle, Melissa allegedly saw Michael trapped underneath it. According to court documents, she was unable to call for help because Michael had taken her cell phone, so she ran to a neighbor's house to get help and then ran to R Place, where she was able to find several people to assist in moving the car from on top of her husband.

Trooper Colton Lenz spoke with the neighbor, who allegedly confirmed that Melissa woke him by beating on the door and "screaming at him" to call 911. The neighbor did so, then allegedly went to the car and observed Michael to be unresponsive and witnessed Melissa run towards R Place before returning with volunteers to move the car

Melissa allegedly stated that she began drinking that afternoon. She was placed under arrest for driving while under the influence of alcohol and transported to the Crook County Jail.

According to court documents, an autopsy was performed by Crook County Coroner Michael Frolander. It indicated that Michael Kenyon died of asphyxiation due to his position under the vehicle and compression by the vehicle; he could not have been revived after around four to six minutes in this position.

Melissa Kenyon faces two charges: aggravated vehicular homicide, in which she stands accused of operating a vehicle while having an alcohol concentration of 0.8 percent or more or under the influence of alcohol to a degree that rendered her incapable of unsafe operation, causing the death of another person. This felony carries a maximum penalty of 20 years' incarceration, a $10,000 fine or both;

The second charge is vehicular homicide, refers to Kenyon operating a vehicle in a criminally negligent manner and by doing so being the proximate cause of death of another person. This misdemeanor carries a one-year maximum penalty, a $2000 fine or both.

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Original Publication Date: November 5, 2015

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