Wyoming Babysitter Who Claimed Child Died After Falling Down The Stairs Convicted Of Murder
Cheri Marler, 53, was convicted of first-degree murder and child abuse for the death of 5-year-old Annabelle Noles.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office

A Wyoming woman who claimed a 5-year-old girl she was babysitting died after falling down the stairs has been convicted of the child’s murder.

Cheri Marler, 53, was convicted of first-degree murder and child abuse on May 10, the Cowboy State Daily reported. The jury took less than 5 hours to return the guilty verdict.

“There isn’t a winner or loser today. Families lives have been changed forever on both sides,” Kemmerer City Police Chief Michael Kahre told the outlet after the verdict was read. “The justice system worked like it is supposed to. I would be lying if I said I was not pleased with today’s verdict. Unfortunately nothing will bring Annabelle back. She is gone. Today’s verdict however brings us justice for her. I am grateful to everyone who did their part to make this trial a success.”

Marler had been babysitting 5-year-old Annabelle Noles and her sister for several weeks when, on November 25, 2022, she called 911 around 3:40 p.m. and reported an unresponsive child, the Star Valley Independent reported. First responders arrived and provided life-saving measures for the girl before she was taken to a local hospital, where she died the next morning as a result of her injuries.

Marler was arrested shortly after Noles died, and told the Kemmerer, Wyoming, police chief that she had slapped and hit the young girl up to 10 times by “clapping” her hands on either side of the girl’s head, the State Daily reported after reviewing an affidavit in the case. Marler explained to the police chief how she clapped her hands with Noles’ “head in the middle.”

After the attack, Marler said Noles went to lie down, and the babysitter found her unconscious.

Marler also admitted to police that she had beaten Noles with kitchen utensils the day before the clapping attack.

“Eventually, she succumbed to these fatal injuries. Her deep brain injury was a result of blunt force trauma, not just contact injuries,” Dr. Ruiz-Maldonado testified at Marler’s trial, the Uinta County Herald reported.

Marler denied harming Noles when she took the stand in her own defense.

In its closing arguments, the defense argued that it had not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Marler had caused the death of Noles. The defense stuck to the claim that the girl had fallen down the stairs, with those injuries causing her death. Noles had a broken back, bleeding in the brain, and had cuts and bruises from new and previous injuries, a doctor testified at her trial.

The defense argued that Noles’ mother was the possible cause of the abuse, as she had a history of drug abuse and had multiple drug charges.

Ultimately, the jury sided with prosecutors and found Marler guilty. She faces up to life in prison without parole or even the death penalty, along with up to 10 years in prison for the child abuse charge. Her sentencing date has not been set.

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