Green River Star -

Person harms self at District Court hearing


An unidentified inmate of the Sweetwater County Detention Center attempted to harm himself during a court hearing in Green River Friday morning.

According to a media release from the sheriff’s office, the incident occurred in Judge Nena James’ court at about 11:30 a.m. The inmate was removed and transported by ambulance to Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County, where he was treated for his injuries and was placed under observation.

An update issued Tuesday evening stated the inmates injuries were not life threatening. Sheriff Mike Lowell said the inmate did not bring a weapon into the courtroom with him and had attempted to harm himself by repeatedly banging his head into the table he was seated at. Two detention officers and a courtroom security officer secured the inmate by moving him from the table and taking him to the ground. The officers did not use chemical sprays or other weapons to control the inmate.

Det. Dick Blust, the public information officer for the sheriff’s office, declined to release the inmate’s name.

“We are not releasing the inmate’s name due to medical confidentiality issues,” Lowell said in the release. “Our officers acted appropriately in dealing with the situation and preventing the inmate from causing further harm to himself.”

Deputy Sweetwater County Attroney Teresa Thybo also declined to comment.

“I was the county attorney in the courtroom at the time, but I am not going to comment on the incident in respect for the individual’s privacy,” she wrote in an email to the Green River Star.

Bomb squad assists

city landfill

The county’s bomb squad worked with the Green River Landfill Division to dispose of old propane bottles.

More than 200 steel tanks and bottles were deposited at the landfill, causing a disposal problem for the landfill.

“People have been bringing these old bottles to the landfill over time and they presented a disposal problem,” Sheriff Mike Lowell said in a media release from the sheriff’s office. “It’s a safety issue. Scrap dealers won’t accept intact propane bottles; they must be ‘holed’ to demonstrate that they’re empty and not under pressure. That’s where the bomb squad comes in; they ‘hole’ the old tanks with explosive charges.”

Working at the landfill Sunday, bomb-squad members used surplus explosives given to the squad by area oilfield companies to open the propane bottles.

The city or county was not billed for the charges or work.


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