2 accused in Dewey toddler death to be tried separately

DEWEY, Okla. - Two Dewey residents accused in the death of 15-month-old Emma Beth Warmberodt nearly one year ago and set for trial next week will be tried separately.

Marcus Trinidad Mitchell, 23, charged with first-degree murder involving the death of a child will be in court for his jury trial beginning Monday and his mother, Juanchelle Lanyal Fitch, 49, charged with accessory to first-degree murder after the fact and child neglect, will be tried beginning Feb. 11.

During a scheduled court appearance Tuesday, a Washington County district court judge decided to sever the two cases as requested by Fitch's attorney who argued statements made by Fitch during the case may impact Mitchell's defense, according to court records.

Ashley Ann Williamson, 24, the toddler girl's mother, is charged with two counts of child neglect and one count of enabling child abuse by injury, among other charges.

Mitchell and Williamson, each held on $500,000 bonds, and Fitch, on a $250,000 bond were arrested March 9 following the results of a joint investigation by Dewey police and the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation into the death of 15-month-old Emma Beth Warmberodt.

Records filed at the Washington County Courthouse indicate the investigation began Feb. 24 when Dewey police and first responders were dispatched to a residence on the 300 block of Cherokee in Dewey due to a call reporting a unresponsive child.

Reportedly, they found Warmberodt dead with bruises to her head and chest as well as blood in her mouth and nose. They also found she may have been dead for some time as her body was already stiffening, said police.

An autopsy report the medical examiner later released on the child indicated she had died "as a result of blunt trauma."

During interviews with police, Mitchell reportedly admitted to having struck Emma on the back due to her choking on cereal and said he saw blood on her face before putting her to bed before going to work, said police.

Print this article Back to Top