Honor Farm inmate's death probed; suicide suspected

Sep 19, 2017 By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

An inmate died Friday at the Wyoming Honor Farm in Riverton, officials said in a press release that day.

Jason Ryan Wamser, 31, was autopsied Sunday, according to Fremont County Coroner Mark Stratmoen, and results will be available in four to six weeks.

Until then, Stratmoen said he will not comment on the manner or cause of death, or say whether there was any suspicious activity involved in the incident.

"Any further releases regarding the circumstances are referred to the public information officer for Department of Corrections," he said Monday. "It's up to them what they want to release."


Police were called at about 3:55 p.m. Friday to reports of a suicide at the Honor Farm.

According to scanner traffic, the subject was found hanging by his bed sheet, but Stratmoen said the facts of the case will be determined through a complete investigation.

"Sometimes when calls come in as one thing ... that can change when the details come out," he said.

He noted that his office orders autopsies for any "correctional" or "in custody" death regardless of the circumstances.

On Tuesday, Wyoming Department of Corrections public information officer Mark Horan said it's too soon to say whether Wamser killed himself.

"We wait until we get the official coroner and autopsy reports back," he said. "After that (we'll) have an official determination."

When asked about the scanner communication, Horan said, "Some of that I don't know, and the rest I can't really talk about." For example, he said he didn't know where Wasmer's body was found, and he also wasn't sure whether life-saving measures were undertaken Friday, though he said those are part of his agency's protocols.


After any inmate death, Horan said, the WDOC will investigate the incident and review internal procedures to ensure appropriate policies were followed.

Wamser was born Nov. 12, 1985, in Golden, Colorado.

Campbell County District Court judge Thomas Rumpke sentenced Wamser on May 2 to three to four years of imprisonment for aggravated assault and battery.

On July 6, he was transported from the Campbell County jail to the intake unit at the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institute in Torrington - standard for all inmates, Horan said - and was transferred to the Honor Farm around the last week of August.

Horan said Wamser's conviction in May was his first.7

"He hadn't been in prison for anything," Horan said.


Horan said a WDOC security threat group coordinator wasn't immediately familiar with the tattoos that are visible on Wamser's face.

"That's not to say that it might not be a gang thing, (but) I don't believe he had any validation as far as with a gang or anything," Horan said.

"There are lots and lots and lots of gangs, but (those tattoos) didn't' jump out as anything obvious."

If inmates are gang-affiliated, Horan said DOC staff members keep them separated from other gang members.

Wasmer's facial tattoos consist of 11 stars, according to his physical description.

Horan said Wamser also had scorpion tattoos on the back of his head and several other markings, including a crucifix, nails, a love tattoo, some Korean symbols, a money sign and a yin yang.

"He had a lot of them," Horan said. "It's hard to say either way (what they mean). It's possible it could be maybe some religious symbolism or just who knows."

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