A Minot man serving a life sentence for killing his ex-wife was back in court Monday – for two separate hearings.
Richie Wilder first appeared before Judge Stacy Louser to plead guilty to escape.
The judge accepted the plea.
The case was scheduled to go to trial Tuesday.
He admitted chiseling away at the area around the window in his cell last year while awaiting trial for the stabbing death of his ex-wife, Angila.
Judge Louser sentenced him to the maximum – five years in prison for the escape…Although Wilder is already seving live without parole for murder.
Next, Judge Gary Lee presided over a hearing ordered by the state supreme court to correct an illegal sentence.
A judge originally ruled that Wilder could have no future contact with his two minor children.
Monday, his attorney and the state’s attorney argued about whether or not that order was proper.
(Kelly Dillon, Asst. State’s Attorney) “There were two people prior to Angila Wilder’s death that were responsible for the welfare of these children. And one of those people eliminated the other. Somebody has to protect these children.”
(Raissa Carpenter, Defense Attorney) “The sole issue before the court is not ultimately what should happen to these children, they’re not ultimately what needs to be decided, but is it legally proper for the court to prevent Mr. Wilder from having any contact from these children? Can you legally do that as part of a criminal jugement and you can’t legally do that.”
Judge Lee said he would act quickly to provide a ruling on the matter.
Wilder is serving his life sentence at the state penitentiary.
His current wife Cynthia is facing charges of conspiring with Wilder in the killing, and helping him plan an escape.
She has pleaded not guilty and is due in court again next month.