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Rodeo Champ Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse

Timberman pleads guilty

September 13, 2006
By John Morgan, Star-Tribune staff writer

Former world bareback champion rider Kelly Timberman changed his plea to guilty Tuesday on one count of child endangerment and one count of battery.

The two counts came as a result of an incident in January at Timberman's home in Mills while he was supervising his son.

By pleading guilty to the two misdemeanor charges, Timberman gave up his right to a trial by jury and gave his testimony under oath to Judge Thomas Sullins in Seventh District Court.
"I spanked him with a belt and left a mark on him," Timberman said.

Count one of causing, permitting or contributing to the endangerment a child carries a prison term of up to one year, a $1,000 fine or both. Count two of touching a family member in a rude, insolent or angry manner carries a prison term of up to six months, a fine of $750 or both.

Natrona County District Attorney Mike Blonigen said a sentence of a year and a half of supervised probation was recommended.

Timberman's case now goes to a presentence investigation before he receives his sentence.

Rodeo Champ Charged with Abuse

By Anthony Lane
February 18, 2006
Casper, Wyoming Star-Tribune staff writer
Rodeo champion Kelly Timberman appeared in court Friday afternoon on a charge of felony child abuse.

Investigators believe that Timberman, who is one of the nation's top-ranked bareback riders, used a belt in late January to discipline his elementary-school age son, according to Lt. Phil Crouch of the Mills Police Department.

"It's a disciplinary thing that probably got carried away," Crouch said. He said investigators found bruising on the boy's buttocks that was "more than would be expected from a spanking."

Timberman's rodeo accomplishments are numerous. In December 2004, he won the title of world champion bareback rider at the National Finals Rodeo. In June 2005, the Wyoming Sports Hall of Fame named him its athlete of the year.

The 30-year-old lives in Mills and has delivered motivational speeches about goals and dreams since his NFR victory.

Child abuse carries a penalty of up to five years in prison. Natrona County Circuit Court Judge Steven Brown said Timberman will be released from custody on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond, meaning he will only be responsible for that money in the event he misses a future court appearance.

Timberman's attorney, Peter Feeney, chose not to comment after the court proceedings.

A message left at Timberman's home Friday afternoon was not returned.

He will not be restricted from traveling as a condition of his bond, Brown said.

Timberman should be scheduled for a preliminary hearing within the next three weeks. At that proceeding, a circuit court judge will decide whether there is probable cause for the charge to be brought against Timberman in district court.

Natrona County District Attorney Mike Blonigen said Timberman has been cooperative with investigators and turned himself in after charges were filed.

"Abuse," according to state law, "means inflicting or causing physical or mental injury, harm or imminent danger to the physical or mental health or welfare of a child other than by accidental means" and can include corporal punishment that is deemed "excessive or unreasonable."

Crouch said the abuse report came from the mother of Timberman's son.