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Wyoming teens accused in triple murder denied bail

Two Wyoming teenagers who police say stole guns then murdered a family while trying to steal a car will be held in jail without bail.


Stephen Hammer, 19, and Tanner VanPelt, 18, made their first appearance in court Tuesday after being apprehended in connection with a triple murder in Clark, a small community near the border with Montana.

Circuit Judge Bruce Waters ruled that due to the severity of the charges – 11 felonies in all, including premeditated murder, murder during a robbery and using a firearm to commit a crime – the two men would be held without bond.

In what Park County Sheriff Scott Steward deemed “nothing short of cold-blooded murder,” the men are accused of entering a home along a gravel road and fatally shooting Janos Volgyessi, 69, and wife Hildegard Volgyessi, and their 40-year-old daughter Ildiko Freitas.


According to the Cody Enterprise, the family had lived in the area near Sugarloaf Butte for six or seven years and spoke German while together. The daughter was a married nurse whose husband was away for a job.

A neighbor found two of the family members shot inside the home, the sheriff said. Deputies then found another body in the basement.

Witnesses reported that they saw two slender white males enter the home, and two cars fleeing and were able to provide a description to deputies. One of the cars, a black Audi, was recognized as Freitas’ vehicle. State troopers found the vehicles and suspects several miles from the murder scene.

The teens told police that had stolen handguns from a Cody pawn shot on Feb 26 and went to the house intending to steal the car and escape to Denver, until the robbery went awry, the Cody newspaper reported, citing an arrest affidavit filed in court.

The Associated Press contributed to this story