Change of plea hearing scheduled for Cynthia Wilder

A change of plea hearing has been scheduled Thursday for a Minot woman accused of helping her husband plan and clean up after the murder of his ex-wife, a listing on the North Dakota Courts site shows.

Cynthia Louise Wilder, 27, is charged with conspiracy to commit murder, a Class AA felony, and accomplice to escape, a Class C felony, for allegedly helping husband Richie Wilder in his aborted escape from the Ward County Jail. Richie Wilder was convicted by a jury of the brutal stabbing murder of his pregnant ex-wife, Angila Wilder, in November 2015 and is serving life without parole.

Cynthia Wilder, a former elementary teacher for the Minot Public Schools, is alleged to have confessed her role in the murder to a former romantic partner. According to a probable cause affidavit filed with the court and statements made at court hearings, Wilder connected with the man on Facebook and made a confession to him in May. The man’s conversations with Wilder were recorded. Cynthia Wilder allegedly told the man that she parked outside Angila Wilder’s house on some nights to watch the comings and goings from the house. On the night of the murder, she knew that Richie Wilder Jr. was going to kill Angila. He returned home and she helped him clean blood evidence from the car. The two children of Richie Wilder Jr. and Angila Wilder were staying in the apartment with their father and stepmother on the night of the murder. Richie Wilder Jr. and Cynthia Wilder have a daughter together who is now 4-years-old; the two older children were 12 and 6 at the time of the sentencing hearing in May.

The only other person in Angila Wilder’s home that night was her 2-year-old son, who was found hours later in another bedroom in the residence after his father came home from working the night shift at Walmart.

All of the children associated with the case are living out of state with relatives. Judge Gary Lee has forbidden Richie Wilder from having any contact with his two children with Angila Wilder until they are adults. Richie Wilder Jr. is appealing that order to the North Dakota State Supreme Court and is also asking for a new trial in the murder case.

– Andrea Johnson