Woman who helped plan killing of husband’s ex-wife to be sentenced on May 30

A 27-year-old Minot woman who admitted to helping plan the brutal November 2015 stabbing murder of her husband’s ex-wife will be sentenced on May 30, according to a listing on the North Dakota courts site.

Cynthia Louise Wilder, a former Minot elementary school teacher, faces up to life in prison without parole. She entered Alford pleas to Class AA felony conspiracy to commit murder and to Class C felony escape for helping her husband, Richie Wilder Jr., plan his aborted escape from the Ward County Jail in August 2016. Richie Wilder Jr. is serving life without parole for the murder of his ex-wife, Angila Wilder. Richie Wilder Jr. was found guilty by a jury in December 2016 and was sentenced in May 2017.

A new lawyer, David Ogren, has been appointed to represent Cynthia Wilder. She had previously been represented by Patrick Waters, who has left the public defender’s office.

An Alford plea means that Cynthia Wilder disputes some facts of the case but acknowledges she likely would have been found guilty at trial. She confessed her part in the crimes to an old lover in May 2017, not long after her husband’s sentencing hearing. The unidentified man had gone to the police because of statements Cynthia Wilder made on Facebook and agreed to record his conversations with Wilder. Cynthia Wilder had hoped to impress her old lover and start a relationship with him, according to statements made at her change of plea hearing in November 2017.

Cynthia Wilder admitted to her old friend that she had staked out Angila Wilder’s residence at night to see what time Angila Wilder’s boyfriend left to work the night shift at Walmart and that she knew Richie Wilder Jr. would kill Angila Wilder when he left their apartment that night. Cynthia Wilder helped Richie Wilder Jr. clean up blood evidence when he returned from the murder scene and they fabricated a story to tell the police.

Richie Wilder Jr. had a tumultuous relationship with his ex-wife and they frequently battled over custody of their two children. The two children were staying with Richie Wilder Jr. and Cynthia Wilder on the night of the murder. The only other person present in Angila Wilder’s home that night was her 2-year-old son by her live-in boyfriend. The boyfriend was working the overnight shift at Walmart. The 2-year-old was found unharmed in another bedroom of the residence when his father returned home from work, discovered his door had been kicked in and called police. Angila Wilder was pregnant with a second child by her live-in boyfriend when she was murdered.

Cynthia Wilder cared for the two Wilder children after the murder and their father’s arrest. The children are now living out-of-state with their maternal grandmother. Cynthia Wilder’s 4-year-old daughter by Richie Wilder Jr. was living out-of-state with her paternal grandfather as of last summer.

Cynthia Wilder has been held at the Ward County Jail since her arrest in May 2017.

– Andrea Johnson