A Casper man was traveling between 38 and 42 mph when he intentionally hit a woman with his vehicle, killing her, court documents say.
Jerald Thomas Fallon is charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault in the death of Kelly Black. He made his initial appearance in Natrona County Circuit Court on Monday where his bond was set at $500,000 cash-only.
Prosecutors have indicated they will ask for a habitual criminal sentencing enhancement, meaning Fallon could serve life in prison if convicted on either charge.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, a man called authorities just after 8:30 p.m. Feb. 29 and reported that he saw another man (later identified as Fallon) drag a woman (later identified as Black) to a vehicle and “throw her into the vehicle.” The caller also told dispatchers, “I’m not sure if the passenger is alive” and identified the vehicle as a silver Nissan Armada SUV.
The caller reportedly told dispatchers that he first saw Fallon and Black near the Shoshoni bypass (US 20-26) and Interstate 25. He said he pulled over to help Fallon and it appeared Fallon was drunk, the affidavit says.
“Another detail provided by [the caller] was that Fallon attempted to close the passenger side front door after ‘throwing’ Kelly Black inside the seat,” a Natrona County Sheriff’s Office investigator writes in the affidavit. The caller also said Black wasn’t completely in the vehicle and that Fallon slammed the door on her leg.
The caller also reported that there were personal property and parts of a vehicle in the area where the collision occurred, according to the affidavit.
Court documents say the caller followed the Nissan Armada to the parking lot of the Hilton Garden Inn in the 1100 block of North Poplar Street. As law enforcement officers began arriving at the hotel, the caller watched Fallon run away, the affidavit says.
Officers found Black unresponsive in the passenger seat of the Armada. She was taken to Wyoming Medical Center where she was pronounced dead at 9:27 p.m., the affidavit states.
Through the ensuing investigation, law enforcement learned that a company Christmas party was being hosted at the Hilton. Investigators further learned that Black seemed as she was extremely intoxicated and that apparently upset Fallon. Witnesses also told law enforcement that Fallon was “manhandling” Black and dragging her out of the party in a way that made it difficult for her to keep up with him.
The affidavit says Black’s daughter told investigators in a follow-up interview that Fallon called her and said, “I just hit your mom,” “you need to come here now” and “I’m not going back to prison” before ending the phone call.
Investigators were able to locate where it appeared a collision occurred between the Armada and Black. They also found several items near the alleged collision including a broken rear tail light cover which was consistent with damage to the Armada, the affidavit states.
“Law enforcement also discovered several items of clothing that were consistent with the clothing items worn by Kelly Black on the evening of February 29, 2020,” an investigator writes in the affidavit. “The crash scene investigation showed that Kelly Black was struck from behind while she walked on the side of the roadway and that the Nissan Armada was traveling in reverse at the time of the collision.”
Law enforcement attempted to find Fallon in the surrounding areas but were unsuccessful.
On March 2, deputies learned a phone number associated with one of Fallon’s coworkers in Mills called a relative of Fallon’s in South Dakota. A sheriff’s sergeant went to the address and found Fallon inside and arrested him.
On March 3, investigators returned to the area of the Hilton Garden Inn and Crossroads Park. They were able to locate “distinct footwear impressions” that matched the shoes Fallon was wearing at the time of his arrest. Deputies tracked the footwear which led south along the North Platte River, the affidavit states.
According to the affidavit, on March 9, an autopsy showed that Kelly Black sustained severe internal injuries that appeared to be the result of “high impact and acceleration.”
The same day as the autopsy, a Wyoming Highway Patrol crash reconstruction expert, determined that damage to the Nissan Armada indicated that the vehicle was traveling between 38 and 42 mph when it struck Black, the affidavit states.
“The investigation conducted by [the state trooper] showed that there was no attempt to avoid a collision with Kelly Black to include no signs of active braking prior to impact,” the affidavit states. The trooper also confirmed that the vehicle was “more than capable” of traveling more than 50 mph while in reverse.