Marler pleads not guilty to murder charges involving 5-year-old Kemmerer girl v
The woman accused in the beating death of a 5-year-old Kemmerer girl pleaded not guilty in District Court on Monday, January 9. Cheri Marler, 51 of Kemmerer, faces first-degree murder and two counts of child abuse. During the court proceedings, Marler made the non guilty plea to all three charges. Lincoln County District Court Judge Bluemel set bail at $100,000 cash or surety bond with a handful of stipulations, including the requirement that Marler complete a substance abuse assessment, not be in the care of any children, avoid weapons, drugs and alcohol, stay in Wyoming except for planned medical visits in Utah, keep in touch with her lawyer and show up to court hearings.
The first-degree murder charges against Marler are punishable in Wyoming by life in prison with or without parole, or the death penalty. However, the Lincoln County Attorney’s Office has decided to not seek the death penalty in this case. The child abuse counts are punishable by up to 10 years in prison for each count.
The charges stem from the death of the girl on November 25 after she was found unresponsive in Marler’s home. Investigators arrested Marler, who had been the caretaker of the girl and her sister for a number of months, after evidence of physical abuse became apparent during the ensuing investigation. The girl was found to have had multiple rib inquires, a punctured lung, several new and old head injuries, broken back, lacerations, scrapes and countless bruises on the entire body according to court documents. Court documents also state that the girl’s sister also had signs of physical abuse.
The girl’s mother, 27-year-old Kayla Kartchner of Kemmerer, was also arrested on January 4th on unrelated drug charges. She has been charged with two counts of felony marijuana possession and one misdemeanor methamphetamine charge. She faces up to $10,000 in fines for each marijuana charge, along with up to a year in jail for the methamphetamine charge. She is being held on a $15,000 cash or surety bond. Kartchner’s boyfriend, 39-year-old Jason Gieck of Kemmerer, was also arrested on similar marijuana and methamphetamine charges. Because of prior convictions Gieck faces faces up to 15 years in prison and $25,000 in fines if convicted on all counts. He’s being held on a $30,000 cash or surety bond.