A Douglas woman who testified for members of the Wyoming Legislature in late 2022 about a land lease dispute is in jail, charged with second-degree murder for the death of her mother.
Edwina Leman, 54, was arrested by Converse County Sheriff’s deputies earlier this month on suspicion of physically abusing her mother, Mary Davis, who later died as a result of the injuries suffered from the alleged abuse.
Leman, who went by the first name “Gigi” when she addressed a December 2022 Management Council meeting, testified on behalf of her husband for a state land lease application he had applied for.
The Lemans claimed a competing bidder was awarded the lease based on fraudulent statements and did not have an actual or necessary use for the land.
During the meeting, then-state representative and now Secretary of State Chuck Gray referred to the Lemans as “patriots.”
“The reason why we’re here is because it’s our civic duty to see how it strings out,” Leman said at the meeting. “It’s our civic duty to move it forward so others are not wronged. That’s why we have the legislative branch of the country to help here for the people.
Leman is accused of causing a compound fracture to her 81-year-old mother’s femur that eventually led to her death.
She also faces felony charges for aggravated assault and abuse of a vulnerable adult in addition to second-degree murder. In total, she could receive up to life in prison and $30,000 in fines.
According to court documents, Leman was arrested and charged before her mother died Jan. 5, at which point she was not yet facing a murder charge.
Davis died three days later, with the Converse County coroner ruling the displaced left femur fracture as what caused her death. The second-degree murder charge was added to Leman’s case Jan. 11, the same day the case was bound over to district court.
According to an affidavit filed in the case, Leman was her mother’s caretaker and had housed Davis since June 2022.
On Dec. 28, 2023, Leman was heard by her son yelling at her mother in the bathroom, the affidavit says.
At one point, her son said he heard an audible “thump,” which led Davis to start screaming. When her son went into the bathroom, he said he found his mother roughly pulling on Davis’ leg, despite her mother screaming that it hurt, according to the affidavit.
According to Leman’s son, his mother then told Davis “not to be dramatic” and called her “Mary-gina,” a derogatory name her son and husband said Leman called her mother on multiple occasions in the past.
Leman offered a nearly identical account of what happened to Converse County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Ben Peech, according to the charging affidavit, saying she was removing her clothing “more forcibly than necessary when she fell.”
The affidavit does not answer or speculate what exact action led to the fall.
Leman said her mother had become very frail and fragile during the time she had been living with her, and she allegedly admitted to authorities that she has a temper and had “thumped or swatted” Davis on the head at times.
Leman’s son and husband both told authorities that they had seen Leman engage in a pattern of physical and verbal abuse toward her mother since becoming Davis’ caretaker, screaming at her and sometimes calling her names, which Leman allegedly admitted to.
John Leman, her husband, said he saw his wife strike Davis on the head and push her while she was walking with her walker, the affidavit says.
“John advised, had Mary not had the walker when she was being pushed by Edwina, Mary would have fallen,” Peech wrote.
Leman also admitted to pushing Davis when she was using her walker, and on occasion pushing her without the walker, causing her to fall to the ground.
A $250,000 cash bond was set for Leman’s release after her initial hearing Jan. 5.
Leman is somewhat well known in the Douglas community, receiving write-in votes for a few different elected positions during the 2022 election.
She also is a board member for the Douglas Christian Academy, a private Christian school in Douglas set to open next fall.
Leo Wolfson can be reached at Leo@CowboyStateDaily.com.