MINOT, N.D. — A Minot man convicted of killing his ex-wife five years ago wants a new trial and so does his current wife, who admitted to helping him plan the stabbing.
Richie and Cynthia Wilder applied for post-conviction relief this year, beginning the process of trying to reverse life sentences in connection to the 2015 death of 30-year-old Angila Wilder.
Richie Wilder, who married Cynthia Wilder after his divorce from Angila Wilder in the early 2010s, was convicted of murder in December 2016 after Angila Wilder was found stabbed 44 times in her bedroom in a Minot home.
In November 2017, Cynthia Wilder pleaded guilty to felony charges of conspiracy to commit murder and accomplice to escape.
The charges said she told a police informant she helped plan the murder by stalking Angila Wilder, aided her husband in cleaning up blood evidence, lied to police about her husband being with her at the time of the murder, and was going to provide him a car, phone and clothing to help him escape from jail while he awaited trial in August 2016.
Cynthia Wilder’s filing for relief claims she had ineffective counsel. She wrote that her first attorney, Patrick Waters, only came to see her in jail twice and was late for hearings.
Waters told The Forum he disagrees with Cynthia Wilder’s recollection of events.
“In every case that I represent someone on, I represent them to the best of my ability,” he said. “I did nothing different with Ms. Wilder.”
Cynthia Wilder also named her second attorney, David Ogren, because she wanted to file an appeal but said she couldn't because she entered an Alford plea, meaning she maintained her innocence but acknowledged there was enough evidence to convict her.
An appeal to the North Dakota Supreme Court was started in June 2018 but then was withdrawn by Ogren in October 2018. Ogren did not return a message left by The Forum.
Cynthia Wilder noted that she was told a deal was reached for a 25-year sentence, but Ward County District Judge Stacy Louser gave her the maximum. The judge said, according to the Minot Daily News, that she couldn't overlook the amount of planning the defendant put into the murder and in covering it up.
Louser said Cynthia Wilder "was the one person who could have stopped this," the Daily wrote.
Cynthia Wilder also wants a new judge, change of venue, different sentencing and more research into evidence.
In a motion to dismiss Cynthia Wilder's application, Ward County prosecutor Todd Schwarz wrote that there was nothing illegal about her sentencing and that she said in plea hearings that she was satisfied with Waters' representation. Schwarz also wrote that Cynthia Wilder's request to enter an Alford plea was denied and she entered a guilty plea.
"Reading the entire application, it is clear that the petitioner is unhappy with the sentence she received," he wrote.
A hearing to discuss the application for post-conviction relief will be held Sept. 25.
Attorney Grant Walker has been assigned to represent Cynthia Wilder. He declined to comment for this story.
Richie Wilder has been granted a hearing to determine whether attorneys made improper arguments during his trial regarding his right to remain silent. The order, issued July 8, gives the defendant 90 days to point out in transcripts where prosecutors allegedly made those improper arguments, Ward County District Judge Gary Lee wrote in his opinion.