Trial set for trio accused in Dewey toddler death

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. - A trial date has been set for three Dewey residents accused in the death of 15-month-old Emma Beth Warmberodt last February.

Marcus Trinidad Mitchell, 22, charged with first-degree murder involving the death of a child; Ashley Ann Williamson, 23, the toddler girl's mother, charged with two counts of child neglect and one count of enabling child abuse by injury; and Juanchelle Lanyal Fitch, 48, charged with accessory to first-degree murder after the fact and child neglect, on Wednesday appeared before a Washington County District judge who set their trial date for Jan. 28 next year.

The state filed new charges against both Mitchell and Williamson during a court appearance last week, those charges being three counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance and a charge of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

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.

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