Cheyenne murder case heads to district court

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CHEYENNE, Wyo.- ***Circuit Court of Laramie County Judge Nau has delayed the case until December 13.

Laramie County Circuit Court Judge Denise Nau has made the decision to bind the case of Cheyenne 21-year-old Cody Hess, who allegedly shot and killed his roommate, to district court. The judge also denied the state's request to increase Hess's bond, saying that he remains a threat. Because he does not have access to any weapons at his home currently, the judge disagreed with the state attorney.

The defendant's attorney has argued that there was not any malice present during the incident. Currently, Hess is facing charges of Second Degree Murder or, in the alternative, voluntary manslaughter.

It all goes back to November 14 when the Laramie County Sheriff's Office responded to a shooting after a Cheyenne man had claimed he shot and killed his roommate at 4401 Avenue B-2. Sheriff's deputies were dispatched shortly before 2 a.m. and later discovered the body of Michael Robbins in the home.

A detective says Hess shot Robbins three times, twice in the chest and once in the hand, after an argument. Hess told the Sheriff's Office that Robbins came home drunk after playing poker at the GI Forum and later began arguing over a pitcher of tea that had been knocked over. Hess says Robbins later punched him which escalated to a struggle for the gun on the side of Hess's belt.

The Sheriff's Office said Hess later blew a .000% alcohol breath test; however, although the 21-year-old claims to shooting his roommate, the detective says the autopsy findings didn't quite match up to Hess's story.

According to the court affidavit, Robbins had been staying with Hess while he was struggling with some financial problems. He was a 100% disabled veteran who suffered from PTSD.

Judge Nau agreed with the defendant that malice didn't seem to be present and said, "Somebody died. Was it self defense, was it not self defense?... I just don't have enough in front of me for me to make that decision." She added, "Because it's charged in the alternative, I'm just going to bind this matter over to district court."

Currently Hess remains out on bond until his next court appearance.