Cody Residents Accused of Toddler's Murder Closer to Trial

Cody Residents Accused of Toddler’s Murder Closer to Trial

Written by on February 9, 2022

The trial for two Cody adults accused of 1st-degree murder after the death of a four-year-old girl last year begins March 7 in a Hot Springs County courtroom.

Cody residents Moshe Williams and Carolyn Aune are incarcerated in the Park County Detention Center on a $1 million bond each. Both adults have pled not guilty to the first-degree murder of Paisleigh Williams.

Williams brought his daughter Paisleigh to Cody Regional Health with severe injuries on March 27, 2021. Unfortunately, she passed away in a Denver-area hospital just a week later.

Williams and Aune were arrested on March 31. Initially charged with felony aggravated child abuse, the charges were upgraded to murder after Paisleigh’s death.

Official reports say Paisleigh was given a forceful “gut punch” sometime between the night of March 25 and the afternoon of March 27. The blow was severe enough to separate her intestines, which was the eventual cause of her death.

Medical professionals also reportedly found evidence that Paisleigh endured broken bones and other injuries weeks and months before her death.

Courtesy Park County Sheriff’s Office

Courtesy Park County Sheriff’s Office

The prosecution’s witness list includes people from every stage of the alleged crime: the hospital, the arrest, and the imprisonment.

  • 11 officers from the Cody Police Department
  • Three Park County Sheriff’s office employees
  • Two agents from the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation
  • Three employees from the Department of Family Services
  • 11 medical professionals

The list also included five inmates from the Park County Detention Center. Supposedly, they will testify about the actions and conservations of Williams and Aune in prison.

There is no guarantee that the court will call these witnesses to testify during the trial. However, every kind of witness that the prosecution can call in a trial – lay, expert, and character – has been submitted.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice:

  • A lay witness — the most common type — is a person who watched certain events and describes what they saw.
  • An expert witness is a specialist who is educated in a specific area. They testify to their specialty area only.
  • A character witness knew the victim, the defendant, or other people involved in the case. Character witnesses usually don’t see the crime take place. However, they can be beneficial in a case because they know the personality of the defendant or victim or what type of person the defendant or victim was before the crime. Neighbors, friends, family, and clergy are often used as character witnesses.

The trial for the two Cody residents will be held in a Hot Springs County courtroom to avoid any conflicts of interest.

Park County District Court Judge William Simpson recused himself from the case in May 2021. He had previously presided over a case where Williams was the defendant.

Judge Bobbi Overfield with the Fifth Judicial District Court in Thermopolis will preside over the trial. Public opinion may have ruled this an open and shut case. Still, the Park County Prosecutors will have to show – beyond a reasonable doubt – that this was murder with premeditation in order to convict both adults of 1st-degree murder.

The defendants could face life in prison or the death penalty if convicted.

Public opinion may have ruled this an open and shut case, but the Park County Prosecutors will have to show – beyond a reasonable doubt – that this was murder with premeditation.

The jury trial of Moshe Williams and Carolyn Aune is scheduled to begin on March 7.

However, the defense has delayed the trial before and may do so again.

Paisleigh Williams

Courtesy GoFundMe

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