Green River man arrested for murder of 5-year-old boy

GREEN RIVER, Wyo. — A 26-year-old Green River man has been charged with the murder of a five-year-old boy who died last week.

First-degree murder charges were filed yesterday.

Sweetwater Now reports Christopher James Nielsen was initially arrested on November 14 and charged with “aggravated child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury and substantial mental and emotional injury.” The five-year-old was hospitalized with severe brain trauma and died two weeks later on Thanksgiving Day.

The abuse allegedly occurred in the boy’s home where he lived with his mother, Vanessa Kidner. Nielsen was reportedly babysitting at the time.

The Sweetwater County Attorney’s Office filed the murder charges yesterday. County Attorney Dan Erramouspe said the nature of the boy’s injuries and his subsequent death led the County Attorney’s office to charge Nielsen with first-degree murder.

“When a child is injured this badly in an alleged child abuse case, the possibility that this may turn into a homicide is always present,” Erramouspe said. “Wyoming allows for a first-degree murder charge when a victim dies while in the perpetration of a felony. In this case, the alleged felony is child abuse.”

If convicted, Nielsen could face the death penalty.

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