Babysitter who killed 5-year-old by repeatedly ‘clapping’ child’s head convicted of murder

Cheri Lynn Marler (Lincoln County Sheriff

Cheri Lynn Marler (Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office)

A 53-year-old babysitter in Wyoming will likely spend the remainder of her days behind bars for killing a 5-year-old girl in her care, beating the child to death by “smacking” and “clapping” the kindergartener’s head between her hands. A jury in Lincoln County on Friday deliberated for just over four hours before finding Cheri Lynn Marler guilty of one count of first-degree murder and one count of child abuse in the 2022 death of young Annabelle Noles, authorities confirmed to Law&Crime.

The verdict came after a weeklong trial, which included Marler taking the stand to defend herself on Thursday. However, jurors apparently did not believe her claim that she only confessed to killing the child during a taped conversation with police so she could put an end to the interview, according to a report from the Cowboy State Daily.

As previously reported by Law&Crime, officers with the Kemmerer Police Department at about 3:38 p.m. on Nov. 25, 2022, responded to a call about an unresponsive female child at a residence located in Kemmerer, which is about 35 miles from the state’s western border with Utah. Upon arriving at the scene, first responders said that they located the victim unconscious and not breathing on a couch in the living room.

Marler, who was the sole person caring for the child at the time, told police that the little girl had fallen down the stairs. Authorities said that the injuries suffered by the child “did not appear consistent with the story that was told to officers on scene,” which prompted police to open a criminal investigation.

Emergency medical services personnel arrived on the scene a short while later and took over attempts to perform lifesaving measures. The victim was then transported to the South Lincoln Medical Center for treatment. Due to the severity of her condition, she was later airlifted to Primary Children’s Hospital in Utah.

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