Accused of shattering a toddler’s leg and damaging his organs, a Cheyenne woman and her boyfriend are both facing attempted murder charges.
Joshua Dillon Moody, 21, and Hannah Wingert, 20, could spend life in prison or face the death penalty if convicted of trying to kill Wingert’s 2-year-old son by brutally beating him. Each also faces an aggravated child abuse charge punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
Found Them In A Car
Cheyenne Police Department officers first checked in on the little boy and his mother Hanna on Aug. 20, when the pair were apparently living in an abandoned car owned by Moody, Wingert’s boyfriend, that was parked in someone’s back yard.
Police decided the living conditions were unacceptable for the toddler, so they called Wingert’s stepfather, who agreed to house the pair for the night.
At that time, officers saw no concerning or suspicious injuries to the boy, says an affidavit filed Monday in Cheyenne Circuit Court.
Officers later looked through body cam footage from this encounter and found that the boy had bruising and minor swelling near the top of his left eye, but other than that did not appear to be injured, the affidavit says.
Wingert’s mother asked her what happened to the boy’s eye.
The boy had fallen in the shower and possibly sprained his right ankle, Wingert responded, according to a statement Wingert’s mother later gave police.
Wingert and her son left the home the next day after someone paid for a motel room for them.
Please Check On This Boy
Moody joined them in the motel room that night, Aug. 21, and they all stayed in the room together, the affidavit relates from Moody’s and other statements.
Wingert’s mother picked up Wingert two days later and noticed the little boy “looked horrible” and had significant bruising and injuries to his face and arms, and was wearing a strange “homemade brace” on his right leg.
After Wingert’s mother dropped Wingert and Moody off at different locations, the mother contacted the Department of Family Services and the Cheyenne Police Department to request a welfare check for the boy, the affidavit says.
Authorities took the boy to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, but personnel soon determined his injuries were life-threatening. They called for a helicopter to take the boy to Denver Children’s Hospital.
The primary diagnosis indicated non-accidental trauma.
The toddler had a brain bleed, other blood pockets under his skin, pancreatitis, acute kidney injury, cuts on his liver, two burst eardrums and a fractured right clavicle with other injuries under it that indicated “repeated injuries to this area,” the affidavit says.
Both the tibia and fibula in his right leg were shattered, and his thoracic vertebrae appeared fractured. Both eyes were swollen shut. He had trauma to his nose and mouth, bruises, cuts, scratches and open wounds all over his body, and apparent liver and pancreas trauma.
Police interviewed Wingert at the hospital, who said her boy slipped in the shower of her mother’s home.
She knew he had a sprained ankle and a bump near his eye, she said, but “claimed to not know how the other injuries were caused,” the affidavit says.
She also said the toddler has a history of self-harm and frequently throws himself into objects and off objects. She said she took him to the hospital Aug. 21.
The hospital, however, had no record of seeing the boy since June, says the affidavit.
Wingert got a lawyer and declined to speak further with police.
On Aug. 24, a detective received a voicemail from Moody saying Wingert had “admitted to everything” and had caused the boy’s injuries.
Police were unsure.
“There were indications Joshua and Hannah were together when the call was made as Hannah has no other place to stay and Joshua indicated during a later interview the two had been together since Sunday evening,” says the affidavit.
During a later interview at the police department, Moody allegedly said he only knew about the sprained ankle and the eye injury. But later he said he was at the motel when Wingert punched the boy many times in the head and hit him, the document relates.
Wingert is often angry at the boy because he’s often sick or injured, Moody allegedly said. The affidavit says the boy is autistic.
The morning of Aug. 23, Moody claimed, Wingert started beating her boy while he lay in bed, then she grabbed him by the legs and swung him “like a baseball bat from right to left towards the window.”
She released the boys left leg but hung onto the right, and his momentum propelled him around Wingert’s body until his arc stopped when he hit her shoulder, Moody told police.
His leg snapped, Moody said.
Wingert put the boy back on the bed and covered his mouth while he screamed out in pain, Moody claimed.
Moody said he couldn’t look at the boy while his mother beat him because it bothered him; but then he admitted to watching everything happen but being “scared” to do anything because of Wingert’s “mental stuff.”
Wingert reportedly told police she is bipolar.
Moody claimed Wingert held a knife to his throat and demanded he tell no one what he saw, the affidavit says.
The document notes: “Joshua (Moody) acknowledged his history of domestic violence and assaults towards women, but said he has ‘left that life behind.’”
Housekeeping staff at the motel had taken photos of the bloody linens in that room, but they washed the linens before police could process them for evidence, says the affidavit.
When police arrested Wingert, she mourned the loss of her son, the document adds.
“I didn’t mean for any of this to happen,” she reportedly said, adding, “I didn’t get to tell him sorry and goodbye.”
Wingert and Moody’s cases are ongoing.
Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.