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ND trial set for man accused of killing ex-wife

MINOT, N.D.--Questionnaires are being sent to potential jurors in an upcoming murder trial for Richie Edwin Wilder Jr., 30, who is accused of murdering his ex-wife, Angila Wilder, about a year ago, and in a separate case trying to escape from the...

MINOT, N.D.-Questionnaires are being sent to potential jurors in an upcoming murder trial for Richie Edwin Wilder Jr., 30, who is accused of murdering his ex-wife, Angila Wilder, about a year ago, and in a separate case trying to escape from the jail in Minot..

The murder trial, expected to last two weeks, has been set for Dec. 12.

There will be a 12-member jury with two alternates. Judge Gary Lee said he anticipates that 100 questionnaires will need to be sent out to help select potential jurors. A large potential jury pool is needed because the trial will be held close to Christmas and some people might be dismissed for various reasons. Some potential jurors might know people associated with the trial.

Angila Wilder, 30, was found dead in her home at 519 16th Street NW in Minot last Nov. 13. A memorial service for Angila Wilder was held last Nov. 21 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Minot. She had attended schools in Alabama and was a student in the nursing program at Minot State University. She had three children.

Richie Wilder has lived in Minot for six years and is remarried.

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All court records in the case have been sealed. Wilder faces a life sentence without parole if he is convicted of murdering his ex-wife.

Wilder is also charged separately with trying to escape from the Ward County Jail on Aug. 25. According to court records, Wilder used the metal piece from a broom head to chisel away the molding from a window in his cell.

A correctional officer spotted Wilder chiseling at the window when he was monitoring cameras in the facility. Wilder was then seen on camera disposing of the pieces of the window molding in the toilet in his cell. Another inmate, Travis Mason, was seen watching the door for anyone approaching.

Correctional officers searched the cell and found the metal piece from the broom head wrapped in a blanket in Wilder's cell. They also found that his mattress had been cut open. Concealed inside it were a broom handle, broken in two, sheets tied together to form a rope and a metal piece sharpened at one end.

Wilder is charged with escape, a Class C felony, and possessing a weapon in a correctional facility, a Class B felony. If convicted of both charges, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

No hearing date has yet been set for the escape charge.

Mason, 37, of Lolo., Mont., pleaded guilty to being an accomplice to escape and was sentenced to a year in jail, with all time suspended except for the 55 days he had already served. If he successfully completes two years of probation, the charge will appear on his record as a misdemeanor.

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