Green River Star -

By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

Teens sentenced for attack


Two 16-year-old Green River boys who admitted to strangling a woman at the Green River Youth Home so they could run away will have to attend boot camp and possibly serve prison time.

Hayden A. Riggs and Charles Paiz, were charged with kidnapping, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, aggravated assault and battery, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and battery, theft, conspiracy to commit theft, aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery.

Both Riggs and Paiz recently appeared in the Third District Court of Judge Nena James at a sentencing hearing to conspiracy to commit kidnapping and conspiracy to commit theft. All other charges were dismissed.

In exchange for guilty pleas, they were both given a three-to-five year prison sentence on the conspiracy to commit theft charge with a strong recommendation that they attend the boot-camp program offered at the Wyoming State Penitentiary. Paiz was given credit for 204 days served, while Riggs was given credit for 194 days served.

Both were given a 20-to-25 year suspended prison sentence which is to run consecutively with the other charge. Once Riggs and Paiz have completed their boot camp and prison sentence for the conspiracy to commit theft charge, they will both be placed on 10 years supervised probation for the conspiracy to commit kidnapping charge.

During a previous change of plea hearing, Paiz recalled what happened at the GR youth home on Nov. 26, 2015.

He told Judge James he and Riggs had been talking about running away from the youth home that night.

“We decided to run away that night because we thought nobody would expect us to run right before a holiday,” Paiz said.

On that night, as they were packing to leave, they heard youth-home employee Chandra Mathis coming up the stairs.

“When she came upstairs, Hayden hid behind the door and I hid next to the door. When she came in I tried to throw a pillowcase over her head, when she ducked and fell on the floor,” Paiz said.

Riggs then came up behind Mathis and grabbed her legs and arms, Paiz recalled. Mathis then told them both to stop what they were doing and Riggs told her to shut up. Mathis then started to yell. Riggs got upset and told Paiz to shut her up.

“So I took the pillowcase and put it in her mouth,” Paiz said. “I grabbed her by her ankles and drug her into a room.”

Mathis managed to kick the bed, Paiz recalled.

“I went up behind her and I started to choke her and she passed out,” Paiz said.

Paiz said he then went downstairs to find the key for the cabinet. He wanted to unlock the cabinet and get all of his stuff out of it. He couldn’t find the keys and when Riggs asked him what he was doing he decided to give up the search. He picked up Mathis’ car keys. They both got into Mathis’ car and drove over to Rock Springs, where they stopped at a gas station to buy a screwdriver to pry Riggs’ ankle monitor off.

They then drove to Colorado Springs, Colo.

“And later in the day, that day, I called my brother and he told me that somebody was in ICU,” Paiz said.

When Paiz and Riggs found that out, they decided to meet with Paiz’ brother and they turned themselves into the Colorado Springs Police Department.

“Well that is a tragic story. It really is. I just can’t believe that you did this,” Judge James said.

Paiz told the judge he panicked when Mathis came up the stairs and wouldn’t be quiet.

“It’s just a tragedy for the victim in this case, but when you look at this kid -- way to screw up your life is about what has happened here,” Judge James said. “I guess in one way you are lucky that she didn’t die, but on the other hand, what you did was so bad and it has really set you back in terms of your future. There is no doubt about it.”


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