Alleged murder conspirator says children ‘need her at home’
A Minot woman accused of helping her husband plan the murder of his first wife is asking for a bond review hearing because school is starting soon and her children “need her at home.”
Cynthia Wilder, 26, a former elementary teacher for the Minot Public Schoois, is being held on $1 million bond at the Ward County Jail on Class AA felony conspiracy to commit murder and Class C felony accomplice to escape charges. In a letter to “any judge” on Tuesday, she complains that she hasn’t been able to reach her lawyer.
Wilder was arrested May 19. The state alleges that she told a man she was once involved with that she helped her husband Richie Wilder plan the November 2015 murder of Angila Wilder and helped him clean up afterwards. She also allegedly admitted to helping Richie Wilder plan his failed escape from the Ward County Jail in August 2016. Richie Wilder was convicted of murder and is serving life without parole in prison.
In the Tuesday letter, she refers to the July 5 hearing where her defense attorney, Patrick Waters, argued against a demand to change the judge in her case. Ward County Deputy State’s Attorney Kelly Dillon asked for a change of judge after Judge Stacy Louser was assigned. Dillon said the state objects to decisions Louser made in other court cases. Waters argued that the demand for a change of judge was not made in good faith. A listing on the North Dakota Courts site Friday afternoon showed that Judge Thomas Merrick has issued a ruling denying the state’s demand to remove Louser from the case.
Wilder reportedly told a deputy that she doesn’t know why she was at that hearing and doesn’t want Louser as her judge anyway.
“Your honor, I have been sitting here for almost two months,” wrote Wilder. “I was arrested on May 19, 2017. I am requesting a bond review. I am not a danger to society and I have no prior offenses. I am a mother to three children that need me at home. School will be starting soon and my family needs me. I also have not heard from my court appointed lawyer other than when he put in his request to change judge(s). When I was at court on July 5, 2017 he didn’t even say a single word to me and I have no clue what is going on with my case. His phone number is blocked from the jail so I can’t call him.”
A bond review request must typically be made by a lawyer representing the defendant. Judges often tell defendants that they cannot respond to written requests they make to the court when they are represented by a defense attorney. No judge has responded to Wilder’s request.
Cynthia Wilder was a teacher for the Minot Public Schools and had taught kindergarten and second grade in the past couple of years. She and Richie Wilder have one young daughter together. She had also been raising her stepchildren, Richie Wilder’s two older children from his marriage to Angila Wilder. Richie Wilder had adopted Angila Wilder’s daughter from a previous relationship, who was 12 at the time of his sentencing earlier this year, and he and Angila Wilder had a son together who was 6 at the time of the sentencing hearing. Richie Wilder has been permanently forbidden to have any contact with his two older children.
According to a probable cause affidavit submitted with the district court in her murder conspiracy case, Cynthia Wilder made a confession to an old friend she connected with on Facebook in March. That man then contacted police and said Cynthia Wilder had made some statements that made him think she was involved in the murder. Cynthia Wilder met in person with the man twice in May. She told the man, who had agreed to work with police, that she helped her husband plan the murder. Cynthia Wilder told her friend that she watched Angila Wilder’s house at night so she would know what time Angila Wilder’s live-in boyfriend, Chris Jackson, left for his overnight shift at Wal-Mart. Cynthia Wilder allegedly said her husband told her, “it’s going down tonight,” on the evening of Nov. 12, 2015. She said she watched Richie Wilder Jr. don black clothing and leave their apartment in her Honda Pilot. When her husband returned home that night, Cynthia Wilder helped him clean the car. Investigators later found a spot of Angila Wilder’s blood on the inside passenger door of the Honda Pilot, a spot that had been missed during the cleanup. Richie Wilder Jr. took a shower and, afterwards, he and his wife had sexual intercourse. Richie Wilder Jr. then left the apartment to dispose of the murder weapon and the clothing he wore when he committed the crime. Cynthia Wilder told her old friend that the murder was not supposed to be a stabbing. She and Richie Wilder agreed on a story to tell law enforcement after the murder and she stuck with the story.
According to testimony at Richie Wilder Jr.’s murder trial in December 2016, the two children that Richie Wilder Jr. shared with Angila Wilder were staying in the apartment with their father and stepmother on the night of the murder. The toddler daughter of Richie Wilder Jr. and Cynthia Wilder was also present in the apartment. Angila Wilder’s 2-year-old son with Chris Jackson was the only other person present in her home at 519 16th Street NW on the night of the murder. Richie Wilder Jr. murdered Angila Wilder and then apparently locked her bedroom door behind him and then left the house and returned home to Cynthia Wilder. Angila Wilder’s 2-year-old son was in another bedroom in the residence and wasn’t found until hours later when his father, Chris Jackson, came home and discovered that the back door of his residence had been kicked in and Angila Wilder had beem murdered.