Second life sentence in Angila Wilder murder case
Life in prison without the chance of parole. That was the sentence that Judge Stacy Louser laid down against 27-year-old Cynthia Wilder on a charge of conspiracy to commit murder.
Investigators say she helped her husband Richie Wilder, Jr., plan the 2015 killing of his ex-wife Angila in Minot, along with a botched attempt to break him out of county lockup the following year.
The state proposed a 25-year sentence, with five suspended, though the judge laid down the maximum sentence.
Cynthia will have the opportunity to appeal.
Wednesday’s sentencing marks the likely end of a roughly two-and-a-half year-long investigation into a murder that shook the Minot community.
Here's a recap.
Investigators found Angila dead in her Minot home in November of 2015, and roughly a month later, they arrested her ex-husband Richie Wilder, Jr., for her murder.
In August, Richie was charged with escape following a failed attempt to break out of county lockup. That December, a jury of his peers convicted him of Angila's murder.
The following May, Judge Gary Lee sentenced Richie to life in prison without the chance of parole.
Later that month, police arrested Cynthia for helping Richie plan the murder and the escape attempt.
In November, Cynthia entered Alford pleas to the charges, contesting some of the details, but admitting a jury would return a guilty verdict.
And Wednesday, she received the same fate as her husband.
Judge Stacy Louser explained why she was sentenced Cynthia to life in prison.
“He's a good man. He's a good husband. He would never do anything that would hurt his kids. I stand by him,” said Cynthia Wilder in 2016.
That was Cynthia Wilder in December of 2016, after a jury convicted her husband Richie Wilder, Jr., of murdering his ex-wife Angila the previous year.
Flash forward to the present, and Cynthia herself is headed to prison.
Minot District Judge Stacy Louser went well above the state's recommendation in ordering a life imprisonment for Cynthia for her role in Angila's death. This comes in an emotional sentencing hearing that included a playback of an audio recording of a conversation that Cynthia had with a confidential informant where she admits to her role in Angila's killing.
“If it was me, I (expletive) would have gone back and cut her (expletive) fingers off. I would have burned them. I would have lit the house on fire… I could go to jail for a very long time because I helped him,” said Cynthia in the recording.
In laying down her sentence, Judge Louser invoked Angila's role as a mom.
“Of all of her roles, it is this court's speculation that the role she was most proud of was being a mother. Because of your actions, Angila Wilder have forever, ever been robbed of making memories, of sharing their joys, their triumphs, and their heartache with their mother,” said Louser,
Cynthia took the stand to plead her case.
“I still want the very best for all of my children. I want them to be in a safe and loving home,” Cynthia said.
Still, Judge Louser brought forth the harshest sentence.
“As to count one, conspiracy to commit murder, to a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole,” said Louser.
Cynthia's current husband Richie is currently serving his own life sentence after being convicted of Angila's murder.
Judge Louser also forbid Cynthia from having contact with Angila's family, including the children.
Angila Wilder would have turned 33 this September.