Taranovich Preliminary Hearing Continued, Bond Remains Same

A request to reduce bond for a Rock Springs man charged in the shooting death of his girlfriend has been denied, and a preliminary hearing for the case has been moved to a later date.

Stephen Jeffery Taranovich, 41, is charged with Involuntary Manslaughter for the death of 43-year-old Danielle Nichole Martin on January 28, 2018.

Taranovich was set to appear for a preliminary hearing today, during which a judge determines if enough evidence exists to move the case forward to District Court. The preliminary hearing has been continued and rescheduled for March 8th at 4 p.m.

A request to reduce bond was denied, and Taranovich’s bond remains at $600,000 cash or surety bond.

Prosecutors are seeking an enhanced sentence under the Habitual Criminal statute, which would make Taranovich eligible for a life sentence if convicted.

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About the Case

According to court documents, Taranovich and Martin visited a friend’s residence on Pyramid Drive the afternoon of January 28, 2018.

Taranovich said he and Martin were in an on again/off again relationship for the past 15 years. He said they had not been arguing prior to the incident.

Taranovich admitted to using “dope” prior to the shooting. He told detectives that he had a .40 caliber Smith and Wesson which he removed from his back pocket. He allegedly told investigators that he took the slide, barrel, and spring off the handgun and began to clean the gun with a t-shirt or rag. After putting the gun back together, Taranovich said he pulled the trigger to release the tension on the gun, at which point the gun fired shooting Martin in the head.

Taranovich said he did not know a live round was in the chamber, and the gun was unintentionally pointed at Martin.

The friend, who was in the room at the time of the shooting, allegedly told officers that he believed the incident was accidental.

Taranovich allegedly called his mother following the shooting and then called 911 about half an hour after the incident occurred. His friend who was present during the shooting said he wanted to call 911, but Taranovich wanted to do it himself.

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