A Casper man pleaded not guilty to two felony charges connected to allegations that he walked into an 87-year-old woman’s home and violently robbed her in March.
Lawrence Anthony Phillips pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault and aggravated burglary in Natrona County District Court on Tuesday. Both charges are felonies punishable by between five and 25 years behind bars.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, an 87-year-old woman called police at 7:15 p.m. March 2 and said she had been robbed at gunpoint in her home on East Third Street. The woman told police that a man came into her home through the back door, pointed a gun at her and then threw her to the ground before taking $8.
When the robber first entered the home, the victim’s first thoughts were that it was someone who had shoveled snow for her in the past, the affidavit says.
The victim of the alleged robbery told police that the robber seemed to be familiar with her house.
Following the robbery, the victim’s adult daughter told police that she found a cigarette butt next to a doormat outside the home’s backdoor.
Phillips was a suspect early on in the investigation, the affidavit says. On March 4, police found Phillips at the CY Motel. Phillips reportedly told a friend that the police were looking for him in the robbery investigation, and his friend called police.
Later in the investigation, the Wyoming Crime Lab notified Casper police that the cigarette butt found at the scene had Phillips’s DNA on it. He was already in custody for allegedly breaking into someone’s home the night before.