First-degree murder charges will continue for Moshe Williams as his case was bound over to Park County district court from circuit court on Thursday morning.
The state is prosecuting Williams and Carolyn Aune jointly for their alleged roles in the death of Williams’ 2-year-old daughter Paisleigh. Moshe Williams was the primary caregiver of the child.
Although Williams eventually took his daughter to the hospital, the state is alleging he took far too long to do so. In conversations with medical professionals, Cody Police detective Juston Wead said that although the girl’s pain would have lessened after the immediate impact, she would have progressively become more sick.
“A reasonable person would have seen medical attention quickly,” Wead said on Thursday.
Although he acknowledged a certain amount of ambiguity exists as to how the Paisleigh was injured, Circuit Court Judge Bruce Waters didn’t express much hesitation about sending the case over to Judge Bill Simpson.
“There’s no question the victim was abused over a period of time,” Waters said. “Whether it was premeditated malice or perpetuation of child abuse, several injuries became worse because of the delay getting care. The state showed sufficient evidence to charge the defendant with probable cause but I certainly understand some of the potential issues out there.”
Paisleigh Williams was airlifted to Colorado Children’s Hospital the same day she was admitted to West Park Hospital.
Numerous bruises were found on Paisleigh’s body as well as some bone fractures. Wead said medical staff determined these injuries to be the result of child abuse in the form of a “classic gut punch,” and “foot stomp,” and a “broad impact bruise” caused by a head slam to a wall.
Multiple rib fractures were also found on her body in healing stages, determined to be months old.
Wead said in prison phone calls with his sister and a friend, Williams said he did not know how the injuries occurred and also denied that Aune could have inflicted the wounds.
Williams had actually taken his son to the hospital for some breathing issues the night before he took his daughter in. State Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jack Hatfield referred to this event as a “bogus” ploy to create an excuse for not caring for his daughter.
Although internet searches have been analyzed on both Aune and Williams’ phones, there has been no investigation of their text messages or calls at this point.
Hatfield has cited a 2017 Wyoming Supreme Court case, Foltz Jr. v. Wyoming, as having a number of strong similarities to the Aune and Williams case. Foltz’s attorney in the original Campbell County case, Dylan Rosalez, has now joined Williams’ legal counsel along with Branden Vilos. In the Foltz case, the Supreme Court determined it was not necessary to prove Foltz had inflicted the actual injuries for him to be found guilty of child abuse and murder.
“If he was not the perpetrator, he was aware of his daughter being abused,” Hatfield said. “It’s very clear both Williams and Aune were guilty of the crime. It does not matter which caused the death because they both did it.”
Rosalez attempted to cast a certain amount of doubt on the way Paisleigh Williams’ injuries could have been caused, getting Wead to admit they technically could have occurred from a bike accident. He also said the state couldn’t prove the underlying offense of child abuse so the event cannot be considered murder.
“I don’t believe the state has met its burden,” Rosalez said.
In interviews with neighbors, authorities found no instances of any seen child abuse.
While Paisleigh was being treated in Denver, Aune and Williams asked authorities if they could leave town so that they could get married in Cheyenne. This desire to leave worried authorities and they placed the couple in custody shortly after.