CHEYENNE – A Cheyenne woman who has long battled drug addiction will spend at least four years in prison for a methamphetamine-fueled attack on another woman last fall.
On Thursday, Laramie County Judge Peter Froelicher sentenced Bryanna Salinas to a minimum of four years and a maximum of six years for the aggravated assault and battery of Britnee Gilmore, who was left permanently disfigured as a result of the fight.
Salinas was scheduled to go to a drug treatment program after being released on bond for those charges, but failed to report. This spring, she was arrested for felony possession of a controlled substance. She pleaded guilty to that charge Thursday and was sentenced to a minimum of two years, which will be served concurrently with the other sentence.
Before Froelicher handed down his sentences, Ross McKelvey, the attorney representing Salinas, asked that her sentence be suspended and Salinas be allowed to check into an inpatient drug treatment facility while remaining on probation. Salinas, who is in her late 20s, first used methamphetamine when she was 15 years old. Her criminal history dates back to 2009, and McKelvey said that in most of those instances, drug use was involved.
“I didn’t make it to treatment, and I do regret that,” Salinas told the judge as she asked him to consider drug treatment. “I really, really want to go to treatment. I didn’t even want to miss it last time,” she said, noting miscommunication and car trouble as the reasons why she didn’t go earlier this year.
“I’ve made mistakes, I do admit that. I just ask you to give me one more chance,” she said
Deputy district attorney Caitlin Harper said Salinas already had her chance at drug treatment and probation, but “blew it in a big way.”
“I certainly understand and am sympathetic to individuals with addiction issues,” Harper told Froelicher. “I agree that largely that is the driving force behind Ms. Salinas’ behavior. The problem, however, is that we’ve seen an escalation in behavior – from misdemeanor possession to misdemeanor battery to aggravated assault.”
In October 2019, Salinas and an accomplice, Scott Johnson, beat Gilmore during an argument over methamphetamine. Salinas used a curtain rod to beat Gilmore, which Harper said left the victim without the top half of her left index finger and permanent facial scarring.
“She has been given the chance to better herself if she’s been using drugs since 2009,” Harper said, as she asked the judge for a sentence of eight to 10 years. “Here we are 11 years later, and a woman is left permanently disfigured because of (Salinas’) actions.”
Harper did request that Salinas be admitted to a drug treatment program while she is incarcerated. “We know she’ll get the treatment because she can’t go anywhere else.”
Froelicher sided with the state and sent Salinas to prison.
“The court has seriously considered the notion of probation,” Froelicher said, acknowledging the role of drug addiction in Salinas’ crimes. “But the court believes probation is not appropriate in this matter. I do that because of the violent nature of the crime (against Gilmore).”
Also heard Thursday in Laramie County District Court:
Joseph Sena of Cheyenne pleaded no contest to an attempted manslaughter charge related to the near-fatal stabbing of Jesus Franco in January 2019.
Sena was originally arrested for attempted first-degree murder. According to previous reporting, Franco was getting out of his car after having dinner with his girlfriend and her children when two knife-wielding men, Sena and Isaac Garcia, approached him.
Sena and Garcia cornered Franco in an alleyway behind his home and stabbed him multiple times. Franco’s girlfriend and an additional witness confirmed the events to law enforcement, according to previous reporting. Garcia pleaded not guilty to attempted first-degree murder.
Sena also pleaded no contest to a burglary charge related to an incident in 2018.
The manslaughter charge could result in a maximum of 20 years in prison. Sena’s sentencing is set for Nov. 5.