Cheri Marler: Wyoming babysitter found guilty of murder after she claims she confessed to killing girl, 5, to end lengthy interrogation

Cheri Marler: Wyoming babysitter found guilty of murder after she claims she confessed to killing girl, 5, to end lengthy interrogation
Cheri Lynn Marler was found guilty of killing 5-year-old Annabelle Noles (Lincoln County Sheriff's Office)

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

KEMMERER, WYOMING: A 53-year-old Wyoming babysitter, who killed the 5-year-old girl under her care by "smacking" and "clapping" the kindergartener's head between her hands, will probably spend the rest of her life in prison.

After deliberating for slightly more than four hours on Friday, May 10, a Lincoln County jury found Cheri Lynn Marler guilty of one count of first-degree murder and one count of child abuse in connection with the 2022 death of young Annabelle Noles.

The verdict was reached following a weeklong trial, during which Marler took the stand in her own defense on Thursday, May 9.

Annabelle Noles was found unconscious and not breathing

The Cowboy State Daily reported that jurors did not seem to buy her explanation that she only admitted to killing the child in a recorded interview with the police to end the interrogation.

Officers from the Kemmerer Police Department responded to a report regarding an unresponsive female child at a residence in Kemmerer, which is roughly 35 miles from the state's western border with Utah, at approximately 3:38 pm on November 25, 2022, Law&Crime reported.

First responders reported finding the victim on a couch in the living room, unconscious and not breathing, when they arrived at the scene.

The young girl had fallen down the stairs, according to Marler, who was the only person looking after her at the time and reported it to the authorities.

Police opened a criminal investigation after stating that the child's injuries "did not appear consistent with the story that was told to officers on scene."

Emergency medical services personnel took over control of life-saving efforts shortly after they arrived on the scene. The victim was then brought to the South Lincoln Medical Center to receive treatment.

Then, because of the seriousness of her condition, she was airlifted to Primary Children's Hospital in Utah.

Cheri Marler 'admitted' that she struck child's head five to ten times

The child died from her wounds at approximately nine in the morning on November 26, 2022. The police arrested Marler on November 27 and later charged her with the aforementioned offenses.

In an affidavit of probable cause, the babysitter "admitted" that she struck Annabelle in the head five to ten times "in a clapping motion", which is how the police characterized her actions when speaking with Marler.

“(Marler) explained it as though she was clapping with (the child’s) head in the middle,” the affidavit states. She also confessed to hitting Annabelle, saying, “I smacked her too hard.”

Following that, the victim went to lie down and Marler later discovered her unconscious, according to the police. At that point, according to Marler, she dialed 911 and informed the authorities that the child had fallen down the stairs and sustained injuries.

Marler also acknowledged that she had used kitchen utensils to beat the victim the day before. Marler also reportedly told a friend that she "just wanted to kill her", "hated" the victim, and was "sick of" her, according to the police report.

The acquaintance subsequently reported Marler's remarks to the police.

Expert claimed Annabelle Noles sustained long-term abuse

A medical professional, who treated Annabelle, testified during the trial that the child had sustained long-term abuse as evidenced by her broken back, bleeding brain, and numerous bruises that were healing.

The Unita County Herald reported on these injuries. Marler's sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for a later time, will take place before Lincoln County Judge Joseph Bluemel following a pre-sentence investigation.

According to reports, the prosecution has already declared that they will not pursue the death penalty so Marler could receive a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of release. 

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