Separate trials asked for in child murder case

By: 
Via the Wyoming News Exchange

CODY (WNE) –- Moshe Williams’ attorneys filed a motion last week objecting to a joint trial and making a motion to sever the trial from codefendant Carolyn Aune.

The two Cody residents are charged with first-degree murder in the death of Williams’ daughter, 2-year-old Paisleigh Williams.

Senior assistant public defenders Dylan Rosalez and Curtis Cheney acknowledged most cases involving two defendants charged with the same crime have one trial, but they said as part of the motion to sever that Williams “asserts that a joint trial will result in prejudice.”

The main argument revolved around another felony case involving Aune, who is alleged to have assaulted a deputy in the Park County Detention Center.

“There is a risk that the jurors could convict Mr. Williams based on his association with Ms. Aune,” the motion reads in part. “However, should Mr. Williams seek to introduce this evidence against Ms. Aune, there is a risk that the jurors could convict Ms. Aune based on the assault she inflicted on the jail guard. Should Williams be denied the opportunity to present this evidence, he may suffer prejudice denying him an important part of his defense.”

The attorneys also noted in the motion that severing the trials would limit the possibility of either defendant being called as a witness against the other, which could result in both of them “pleading the fifth,” and could negatively affect the perception of the jury.

Paisleigh died April 4, 2021, and signs of long-term physical abuse were found on her body.

Aune and Williams each are accused of causing the death of the toddler through their possible actions or lack thereof, qualifying as child abuse that caused her death.

 

This story was posted on August 3, 2022.

 

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