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Motorcycle crash suspect to appear for preliminary hearing April 22

Campbell County Courthouse

GILLETTE, Wyo. — A woman accused of intentionally crashing her car into a motorcyclist will appear next week in Circuit Court for a preliminary hearing, Campbell County court records say. 

Barbara Emerson, 63, is charged with felony aggravated assault after chasing down a motorcyclist and crashing into him with her car Sunday afternoon on Country Club Road, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case. 

Per court documents, Emerson and the motorcyclist, a 58-year-old man, had been involved in a motorcycle ownership dispute for several days after agreeing to trade motorcycles. She felt the man was not holding up his end of the bargain and wanted her motorcycle back from him, calling the Gillette Police Department twice to accuse the man of stealing it. 

On April 14, Emerson called the police again, this time to report the man was riding the motorcycle without insurance or plates. She reportedly followed him while giving live updates to GPD dispatch regarding the man’s location. Dispatchers hung up the call, advising Emerson that officers would contact her directly if they needed information from her, the affidavit states. 

Shortly after the call ended, officers responded to multiple 911 calls regarding a vehicle vs. motorcycle crash on Country Club Road near a pizza restaurant. 

The 58-year-old man told officers he knew Emerson was following him and attempted to lose her by driving through a parking lot on South Douglas Highway. He stopped at a stop sign on Country Club Road and began accelerating through the intersection when he saw Emerson’s silver car coming. 

Per the affidavit, Emerson’s car impacted the rear of the man’s motorcycle, resulting in minor injuries to the man and knocking the bike over. 

When officers interviewed Emerson, she stated she had been worked up during the chase and forgot to hit the brakes before crashing into the 58-year-old man. She reportedly agreed that her actions had been reckless and not a good idea, the affidavit states. 

Emerson was taken into custody for aggravated assault. She was also charged with felony possession of methamphetamine after she admitted to having drugs on her that were later confiscated at the Campbell County Detention Center. 

She will appear on April 22, when a judge will determine if sufficient probable cause exists to send the case to District Court for further proceedings.