Husband of accused child killer appears in Denver court


Leland Pankey. Credit: Denver Police Department

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DENVER — The husband of a woman accused of killing her 7-year-old son appeared in court in Denver Friday. Leland Kyle Pankey, 39, is charged with second-degree assault in a November 2017 incident.

Pankey is the husband of 43-year-old Elisha Pankey, who was arrested in connection to her child’s death on Wednesday. Her son, 7-year-old Caden McWilliams, was found dead in a storage unit near Interstate 25 and Evans Avenue in southeast Denver just before Christmas. The Denver Police Department estimated he died in late May 2018.

According to an arrest affidavit, Leland Pankey was taken into custody Dec. 21, 2018 on a warrant that was issued Nov. 28, 2017.

The document states that on Nov. 27, 2017, a DPD officer was dispatched to a domestic violence call after a building’s property manager called police to say a woman had been assaulted by her husband.

When the officer arrived, the victim said her husband of 3.5 years held her down on a couch and strangled her. Leland was accusing his wife of spying on him using electronic devices, according to the affidavit.

The victim — whose name was redacted in the affidavit — said that while she was being strangled, she could not breathe and lost consciousness for an unknown amount of time. When she woke, up, she went to the leasing office. Two children who were at home at the time remained with Leland.

In the affidavit, the officer states he verified the facts of the case. He received pictures from the victim showing her injuries, which included red marks and bruising to her neck and face. The officer requested a probable cause arrest warrant for second-degree assault, a felony.

It is unknown why Leland was apprehended more than one year after a warrant for his arrest was issued. However, Aurora police arrested Elisha on Dec. 22 for heroin possession, one day after her husband was taken into custody. On Dec. 23, Aurora police shared information about the missing boy with Denver police.

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