Crime & Courts

Man sentenced in harassment of trooper

KANSAS CITY, Kan. —A former Kansas Highway Patrol motorist assist worker will spend more than three years in federal prison for what prosecutors called a "six-month campaign of terror" against a female Highway Patrol trooper last year.

Timothy Wyrick, 33, of Bonner Springs, was sentenced Monday to 37 months after pleading guilty in January to five counts of communicating a threat by interstate commerce.

Wyrick admitted that he anonymously phoned the trooper from March to September 2009. Prosecutors said he made more than 60 harassing calls to the trooper's cell and home phones, plus called the Highway Patrol dispatcher nine times making false motorist assist requests.

Wyrick was able to track not only the trooper's movements but also those of other officers who were assigned to investigate the calls through his employment with the Highway Patrol.

He also sat in on a meeting with two troopers and two motorist assist workers to discuss plans for an undercover stakeout of the victim's home.

As time went on, the phone calls became more threatening. Prosecutors said Wyrick threatened the life of the trooper, her mother and officers who were investigating the calls.

The calls continued until Wyrick was arrested in September after investigators tracked him down with a global positioning unit that had been placed on his work vehicle and pinged his cell phone while he was making a call to the trooper.

"I feel as if I have lost that part of my life and I can never get it back," the victim wrote to the federal judge trying the case. "I had to live not knowing where, when or who was watching me. I couldn't eat, couldn't sleep and I was unable to be alone."

She said she didn't know Wyrick, other than distantly through work.

Wyrick made several of the phone calls to the victim from a pay phone at a Walmart in Paola.

He also used a disposable cell phone he registered in the trooper's name, using her personal information, and a second phone registered in her mother's name.