Pettus Asks for Withdrawal of Plea

Oct 19, 2021 | Regional News

Torrington, Wyo (Story by Denise Heilbrun-Ellis) October 19, 2021 — After pleading no contest to second degree murder and guilty to arson, vehicle theft and burglary, Sean Logan Pettus has sent a hand-written letter to Eighth Judicial District Judge, the Honorable Patrick Korell, asking to withdraw his plea to not guilty and go to trial.

The request for withdrawal was filed Oct. 8.

In May of this year, Pettus was charged with starting a fire at the business he leased on East Valley Road in Torrington. He was also charged with stealing a vehicle and for the murder of 20-year-old Madison Cook.

Pettus stated in his letter to Korell, “I made this decision due to ineffective counsel. I strongly feel there was a lack of effort and attention my attorney lacked efficient knowledge about my case or the charges which resulted in leaving me hopeless and uncertain of the actions I should take in order to defend myself effectively.”

Pettus was being represented by public defenders Eric Palen and David MacDonald.

He admitted in the letter he had stopped taking his psychotropic medications he had been prescribed and that his emotional health was altered.

Pettus also stated he had new evidence as to his whereabouts during the incident. He included a letter from Tristan Brightwell that said: “Sean Pettus was at my place of residence up until a couple of hours before he was arrested. He was at my house for around three days. When he left was around the time he set fire to his tattoo shop, so he was there around the 18th-20th.”  This letter was dated Sept. 30, 2021.

As of press time, Korell has not responded to the request for withdrawal.