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Oklahoma couple charged in death of 14-month-old boy

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WAGONER COUNTY, Okla. – A Wagoner County couple is facing new charges following the death of a child earlier this year.

On March 30, Wagoner County deputies were called to reports of an unresponsive toddler a Broken Arrow home. Sadly, the 14-month-old child died as a result of his injuries.

During an autopsy, the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office discovered that the child appeared to have been physically and sexually assaulted, the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office stated in a news release earlier this year.

Investigators immediately went back to the scene and removed a 5-year-old boy from the home.

Ultimately, authorities learned that William Woolley allegedly sexually assaulted the 5-year-old boy, and that Lisa Woolley watched.

“You just never know what a thorough investigation will uncover,” Wagoner County Sheriff Chris Elliott said in April. “We went in with open minds and eyes wide open, and in trying to determine how we lost one innocent child, we learned we needed to protect another.”

Initially, officials charged William Woolley with child sexual abuse and Lisa Woolley with enabling child sexual abuse.

William Woolley and Lisa Woolley

Now, investigators say the couple is facing additional charges.

On Thursday, William and Lisa Woolley were charged with first-degree murder for the 14-month-old’s death.  William was also charged with another count of child sexual abuse, and Lisa Woolley was charged with another count of enabling child sexual abuse.

“A district attorney has no more sacred duty than the duty to fight for the truly voiceless, and Elijah Woolley was the epitome of voiceless innocence,” Wagoner County District Attorney Jack Thorp said in a statement. “Once Wagoner County Sheriff’s investigators uncovered the facts in this case, we have been committed to justice for Elijah and the young relative who helped us uncover facts that have led to the charges in this case.”

Officials say the medical examiner’s final report on the child’s death indicated that he died by asphyxiation due to suffocation.

“Those types of images haunt us as investigators and prosecutors, and remind us what we’re fighting for,” Thorp said.

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