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Author Topic: Rilya Wilson Murder Case  (Read 4593 times)
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sharon
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« on: November 29, 2012, 08:05:28 AM »

I couldn't find a thread for Rilya although the story has been mentioned in several other threads. Her body has never been found,but the trail began this week.........this is a Florida case where it took DCSF a year to realize that 4 year old Rilya was missing Sad  This is sickening. Rest in Peace, Rilya - you never had a chance Sad

http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Rilya-Wilson-Had-Scars-on-Her-Arms-Head-Witness-181272511.html


Cage Submitted as Evidence in Rilya Wilson Murder Case

Laquica Tuff testified Wednesday in the trial of Geralyn Graham, who is charged with first-degree murder

By Steve Litz
Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012  |  Updated 7:41 PM EST

Prosecutors showed a cage where they believe foster child Rilya Wilson was kept in court on Wednesday, on the third day of caretaker Geralyn Graham's trial.

The cage was submitted as evidence.

Earlier, a prosecution witness testified that she saw Rilya with scars on her arms and head before she disappeared.

“There were scrapes on her arms. There was a gash on her head, forehead area,” family friend Laquica Tuff said of Rilya, who vanished without a trace more than a decade ago.

Graham is on trial for first-degree murder, kidnapping and child abuse. The 66-year-old woman faces life in prison if convicted.

The judge refused to grant a mistrial on Tuesday.

Tuff was a teenager when she says she saw Rilya with the injuries. When she asked Graham about them, “She said that Rilya was clumsy and she always was falling and running into things – she was a clumsy little girl,” Tuff testified.

Prosecutors say Graham killed Rilya, a 4-year-old who was her foster child at the time. The case is notorious in part because the Department of Children and Families didn't realize the girl was missing for more than one year.

 ::snipping2::
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sharon
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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2012, 08:07:34 AM »

I couldn't find a thread for Rilya although the story has been mentioned in several other threads. Her body has never been found,but the trail began this week.........this is a Florida case where it took DCFS a year to realize that 4 year old Rilya was missing Sad  This is sickening. Rest in Peace, Rilya - you never had a chance Sad

http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Rilya-Wilson-Had-Scars-on-Her-Arms-Head-Witness-181272511.html


Cage Submitted as Evidence in Rilya Wilson Murder Case

Laquica Tuff testified Wednesday in the trial of Geralyn Graham, who is charged with first-degree murder

By Steve Litz
Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012  |  Updated 7:41 PM EST

Prosecutors showed a cage where they believe foster child Rilya Wilson was kept in court on Wednesday, on the third day of caretaker Geralyn Graham's trial.

The cage was submitted as evidence.

Earlier, a prosecution witness testified that she saw Rilya with scars on her arms and head before she disappeared.

“There were scrapes on her arms. There was a gash on her head, forehead area,” family friend Laquica Tuff said of Rilya, who vanished without a trace more than a decade ago.

Graham is on trial for first-degree murder, kidnapping and child abuse. The 66-year-old woman faces life in prison if convicted.

The judge refused to grant a mistrial on Tuesday.

Tuff was a teenager when she says she saw Rilya with the injuries. When she asked Graham about them, “She said that Rilya was clumsy and she always was falling and running into things – she was a clumsy little girl,” Tuff testified.

Prosecutors say Graham killed Rilya, a 4-year-old who was her foster child at the time. The case is notorious in part because the Department of Children and Families didn't realize the girl was missing for more than one year.

 ::snipping2::

Self Edit -- it should be DCFS (Department of Children and Family Services)
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2012, 01:24:09 PM »

Case worker, who discovered missing girl, testifies
Dec 5 2012

MIAMI (WSVN) -- The employee who discovered Rilya Wilson was missing is taking the stand in the trial against her accused killer.

Former Department of Children and Families case worker Dora Bentacourt discovered Wilson was missing in April 2002.

DCF case worker Deborah Muskelly was supposed to make monthly visits on 6-year-old Wilson but admitted on Tuesday that she did not visit the child for more than a year. When Betancourt showed up at the house of Geralyn Graham, Wilson's foster parent, she told Betancourt a mysterious case worker from DCF took the child.

Betancourt said she checked into that claim but found no indication it happened.

 ::snipping2::

http://www.wsvn.com/news/articles/local/21009242631583/case-worker-who-discovered-missing-girl-testifies/
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2012, 01:51:38 PM »

Case worker, who discovered missing girl, testifies
Dec 5 2012

MIAMI (WSVN) -- The employee who discovered Rilya Wilson was missing is taking the stand in the trial against her accused killer.

Former Department of Children and Families case worker Dora Bentacourt discovered Wilson was missing in April 2002.

DCF case worker Deborah Muskelly was supposed to make monthly visits on 6-year-old Wilson but admitted on Tuesday that she did not visit the child for more than a year.
When Betancourt showed up at the house of Geralyn Graham, Wilson's foster parent, she told Betancourt a mysterious case worker from DCF took the child.

Betancourt said she checked into that claim but found no indication it happened.

 ::snipping2::

http://www.wsvn.com/news/articles/local/21009242631583/case-worker-who-discovered-missing-girl-testifies/

BBM

 
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sharon
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2012, 03:23:03 PM »

http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Mistrial-Denied-in-Case-of-Missing-Foster-Child-Rilya-Wilson-183395521.html


Mistrial Denied in Case of Missing Foster Child Rilya Wilson
Circuit Judge Marisa Tinkler Mendez denied the mistrial motion, then testimony in the trial for Geralyn Graham resumed.

Thursday, Dec 13, 2012  |  Updated 2:59 PM EST

A judge on Thursday denied a mistrial in the case of a woman charged with killing missing South Florida foster child Rilya Wilson.

Attorneys for 66-year-old Geralyn Graham took exception with a prosecutor's question to a detective asking if police checked out whether "little green men" from space may have abducted 4-year-old Rilya.

Local News

Circuit Judge Marisa Tinkler Mendez called the question inappropriate but denied the mistrial motion.

Testimony then resumed.

Graham, who was Rilya's caretaker, has insisted she did not kill her. Her attorneys maintain that there is no evidence that Rilya is dead, let alone that Graham killed her.

 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2012, 04:10:42 PM »

http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Homicide-Detective-Recounts-Experience-With-Geralyn-Graham-as-Murder-Trial-Continues-183287051.html


Homicide Detective Recounts Experience With Geralyn Graham as Murder Trial Continues

Miami-Dade Police Det. Chris Stroze testified Wednesday

By Ari Odzer
Thursday, Dec 13, 2012  |  Updated 12:24 AM EST

A Miami-Dade Police homicide detective testified Wednesday that Geralyn Graham told him the same story she told the Department of Children and Families – that an unnamed woman from the agency took foster child Rilya Wilson away for psychiatric treatment.

Chris Stroze interrogated Graham in 2002 after DCF realized Rilya was missing and police determined the case had moved from a missing person's case to a homicide investigation.

Graham, 66, could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted in the murder of 4-year-old Rilya, whose body was never found.

Stroze, like several other witnesses before him, told the jury about Graham's explanations for why the child was missing, with prosecutors using him to make the point, again, that she lied over and over.

Stroze testified that Graham was extremely confident telling her story, and even challenged him to try to find inconsistencies.

"She stated that if I could prove that she was lying about anything, I would see that she was lying about everything,” he said.

 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2012, 04:14:29 PM »

http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Geralyn-Grahams-Story-Didnt-Add-Up-Former-Department-of-Children-and-Families-Investigator-Testifies-182442211.html

[size=12pt]
Geralyn Graham's Story Didn't Add Up, Former Department of Children and Families Investigator Testifies[/size]
Barbara Toledo spoke in court Thursday in the trial of Graham, who's charged with first-degree murder

By Ari Odzer
Thursday, Dec 6, 2012  |  Updated 6:23 PM EST

Geralyn Graham is a serial liar, according to prosecution witnesses.

"On the surface, she seemed very believable, but in my mind I was thinking that none of what she was telling me was adding up,” former Department of Children and Families investigator Barbara Toledo testified Thursday in the trial of Graham, who is accused of murdering foster child Rilya Wilson.

One thing that didn’t add up for Toledo was Graham’s story that an unnamed DCF worker took Rilya away for psychiatric evaluations and never brought her back.

"First of all, I've never heard of a 4-year-old being taken to a mental health facility for extensive periods of time,” Toledo said.

The body of the girl, who vanished more than a decade ago, has never been found. Graham, who was her caretaker at the time, has insisted she did not kill her. Her attorneys maintain that there is no evidence that Rilya is dead, let alone that Graham killed her.

The 66-year-old defendant faces charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping and child abuse.

Toledo was among a team of DCF workers who swarmed into the Rilya case, saying it was all hands on deck to find the little girl who at that point was missing for more than a year.

Elizabeth Laufer was on the team that gently questioned Graham. Asked why she did not confront Graham, Laufer replied: “I wanted her to try to see me as somebody who was there to help and the department at the time was there to help. If a child is missing, especially a child who is so young, that child is in significant danger and we wanted to get the facts as to what really had happened."

Toledo says they never got facts from Graham, only suspiciously pleasant behavior.

 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2012, 08:58:11 AM »

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/12/12/3139420/prosecutors-play-2002-abc-interview.html#storylink=misearch

Prosecutors play 2002 ABC interview with woman in Rilya Wilson case
 
Geralyn Graham, on Good Morning America one decade ago, insisted the state’s welfare agency took the missing girl.

Posted on Wednesday, 12.12.12

By DAVID OVALLE
dovalle@MiamiHerald.com

Jurors in the Rilya Wilson trial got to hear directly from accused killer Geralyn Graham on Wednesday - in the form of a May 2002 national television news interview.

Prosecutors played excerpts of an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America with Graham, who claims she is the girl’s grandmother and insists a state child welfare agency worker whisked the girl away never to return.

Graham, 66, is on trial for the slaying of the 5-year-old foster child, who was discovered missing in April 2002 despite being under the supervision of the Florida Department of Children and Families.

The case of the missing girl -- her body has never been found -- spurred DCF to reform how foster children are supervised.

Graham claimed that a mystery DCF worker took the child away in January 2001 for a mental health evaluation. Because of failed supervision, the agency did not discover Rilya was missing until April 2002.

Prosecutors say Graham smothered Rilya, disposed of her body in a body of water in South Miami-Dade then spent more than a year concocting lies about what happened to the child.

In the interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, a much-younger looking Graham claims DCF haphazardly dumped Rilya in her custody to begin with, so she wasn’t surprised when the agency took the girl again with no clue as to her whereabouts.

Prosecutors say Graham actually engineered a plan to get Rilya taken out of a previous, stable foster home and put into the house of her and her lover.

 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2012, 09:06:14 AM »

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/12/11/3137288/detective-no-clues-in-national.html#storylink=misearch

Posted on Tuesday, 12.11.12

Detective: no clues in national hunt for Fla. girl

By CURT ANDERSON
AP Legal Affairs Writer

MIAMI -- A nationwide dragnet launched in 2002 for a missing Florida foster child turned up no trace and also nothing to back up her caretaker's claims that a state worker had taken the girl for mental tests months earlier, a police detective testified Tuesday in the caretaker's murder trial.

"Every lead, every information that I was provided came to a dead end. Nothing panned out," said Det. Giancarlo Milito of the Miami-Dade Police Department. "All rocks were turned."

The investigation began as a missing persons case once the Department of Children and Families discovered in April 2002 that 4-year-old Rilya Wilson had been missing for some 15 months. Her caretaker, 66-year-old Geralyn Graham, told Milito that an unknown DCF worker had taken Rilya for psychological testing and never returned the girl.

Milito said Graham was precise about the date - Jan. 18, 2001 - and that the supposed worker was a dark-skinned black woman who was unusually tall, somewhere around 6 feet, and spoke with an unspecified accent. Graham said the woman asked for some clothes and toys for Rilya as well, Milito said. Graham had no contact information or a name for this person but told Milito she thought she could identify a photograph.

Authorities provided Graham with a pair of 6-inch-thick binders of DCF worker photographs, but she never responded, Milito said. After using law enforcement databases and resources of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Milito said the decision was made to turn Rilya's case over to homicide detectives.

Graham was eventually charged with Rilya's slaying even though no body or crime scene has ever been found. She faces life in prison if convicted but insists she is innocent. A key to the prosecution's case is testimony from jailhouse snitches who claim Graham confessed to smothering the girl with a pillow.

 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2012, 12:31:32 PM »

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/12/17/3145893/rilya-wilson-legal-guardian-to.html

Posted on Tuesday, 12.18.12

Legal guardian: Lover tied up Rilya, confined her to laundry room
Pamela Graham testified that she saw her longtime lover repeatedly punish Rilya Wilson but did nothing to stop it.


By DAVID OVALLE
dovalle@MiamiHerald.com

At first, Geralyn Graham had nothing but hugs and affection for chubby cheeked foster child Rilya Wilson.

But within a few weeks, Geralyn grew increasingly exasperated with the child’s unruly behavior, the woman’s emotional ex-lover told jurors Monday.

Geralyn confined the 4-year-old foster girl to a small laundry room in their Kendall home, sometimes for days. At night, Geralyn kept Rilya tied to her bed by the wrists to keep her from climbing on furniture.

To punish the girl for wetting the bed, Geralyn once even dipped the girl into scalding bathtub water, Pamela Graham told jurors Monday.

And through it all, Pamela — the girl’s legal custodian — testified tearfully that she did nothing to help the girl, cowed by the domineering personality of a woman 18 years her senior. In the end, Pamela spent years repeating lies Geralyn spun about how Rilya vanished in 2000, she said.

“It’s not something I’m proud of, but at that point in my life, I was weak,” said Pamela Graham, who is not related to Geralyn.

“I just did not like confrontation. I knew the defendant. She just controlled every aspect of my life. It wasn’t that Rilya wasn’t worth it.”

Pamela’s testimony Monday against her former domestic partner was highly anticipated. On the stand, Pamela, 48, appeared a scared and pathetic figure, sobbing frequently in explaining how she felt “like a child” in trying to stand up to Geralyn.

 ::snipping2::

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« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2012, 05:18:37 PM »

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/12/18/3148155/judge-admonishes-accused-killer.html#storylink=misearch

Posted on Tuesday, 12.18.12

Judge admonishes defendant in Rilya Wilson murder trial


By DAVID OVALLE
dovalle@MiamiHerald.com

A Miami-Dade judge admonished the woman accused of killing foster child Rilya Wilson after two brief courtroom outbursts Tuesday.

At the time, Geralyn Graham’s ex-lover, Pamela Graham, was on the stand testifying under cross-examination about why she was cooperating with authorities. The two are not related.

In front of the jury and Judge Marisa Tinkler Mendez, Geralyn Graham yelled at Pamela Graham to stop lying. A few minutes later, Geralyn Graham again blurted out at the witness that the last time she saw Rilya, she “was in your arms.”

Geralyn Graham, 66, is on trial on charges of murdering the foster child whose disappearance a decade ago roiled the state’s child-welfare agency and led to a series of reforms. Rilya’s body was never found.

 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2012, 05:22:27 PM »

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/12/19/3148860/defendant-warned-for-outburst.html#storylink=misearch

Posted on Wednesday, 12.19.12

Jail informant: Fla. woman admitted killing girl

By CURT ANDERSON
AP Legal Affairs Writer

MIAMI -- The former caretaker of missing Florida foster child Rilya Wilson confessed to smothering the girl with a pillow because the woman said the child was "evil" and had mental problems that would never be cured, a jailhouse informant testified Wednesday.

Robin Lunceford said 66-year-old Geralyn Graham admitted to the killing while the two were in a holding cell alone together in Aug. 18, 2004. That was nearly four years after 4-year-old Rilya disappeared from the home Graham shared with her live-in female lover.

Lunceford, who is testifying under a plea deal that spares her a life prison sentence, said Graham referred to Rilya as "it" and claimed that the girl did unusual or strange things such as smearing feces on the floor and rubbing her hand on men's genitals. Lunceford said she and Graham became friends because they had adjoining jail cells and traveled back and forth to court appearances together.

"She said that Rilya was evil and a demon," Lunceford testified.

Graham reportedly told Lunceford, 50, she became increasingly frustrated by an inability to control Rilya and that the last straw came on Halloween 2000, when the girl refused to wear an angel costume in favor of a Cleopatra mask an older child had brought.

"She was enraged. She said at that point she knew what she had to do. She couldn't allow it to suffer like that. And that Cleopatra was evil and a slut," Lunceford quoted Graham as saying.

"Then she kind of whispered to me that she killed it, and I asked her how, and she said she smothered it with a pillow. I asked her twice. She said it was suffering and she couldn't allow it to grow up and suffer like that," Lunceford testified.

Later, Lunceford said Graham told her the body was buried near a canal or lake because "water represented peace."

 ::snipping2::
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ARUBA: It's all about Natalee...we won't give up!


« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2012, 12:01:08 AM »

Thanks for the updates Sharon! 

So sad for little Rilya.    
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I stand with the girl, Natalee Holloway.

"We won't give up on you, Natalee.  You didn't give up on us, and we will continue with the investigation until we have all of the answers to your disappearance.  God be with you my Natalee!" Dave Holloway ARUBA
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ARUBA: It's all about Natalee...we won't give up!


« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2012, 12:02:54 AM »

an angelic monkey




Justice for Rilya! 



http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/11/26/child-murder-florida/1727503/
(Photo: Miami-Dade Police Department)
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I stand with the girl, Natalee Holloway.

"We won't give up on you, Natalee.  You didn't give up on us, and we will continue with the investigation until we have all of the answers to your disappearance.  God be with you my Natalee!" Dave Holloway ARUBA
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« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2012, 10:50:55 AM »

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/12/19/3149736/con-graham-told-me-she-killed.html

Posted on Wednesday, 12.19.12

Ex-cellmate: Graham told me she killed Rilya Wilson

A jailhouse snitch with a long record testified that Geralyn Graham told her she killed Rilya Wilson.

 ::snipping2::

Prosecutors on Wednesday sought to portray Lunceford as a reluctant snitch. For several years, she refused to cooperate with the prosecutors handling the Rilya Wilson case, repeatedly telling prosecutors to “f--- off,” Lunceford testified.

When prosecutors finally agreed in March 2011 to reduce her life sentence, Lunceford said as part of the deal she “couldn’t cuss you people out anymore.”

Under questioning from Assistant State Attorney Josh Weintraub, Lunceford said she had received no plea-bargain offers prior to the 2011 sentencing deal. However, in 2005, Lunceford’s lawyer at the time, the late Ellis Rubin, told reporters that Lunceford had rejected a 20-year plea offer from prosecutors before she pleaded guilty to the robbery charge.

Defense lawyer Michael Matters dragged Lunceford through her history of felony convictions and phony names — a criminal record so lengthy that Lunceford admitted she can’t keep track of it. “I had a lot of convictions,” Lunceford said. “I don’t sit around counting them.”

Matters noted that Lunceford has been convicted of 26 felonies in Florida, Illinois and Nevada — including convictions for three prison escapes. But jurors will not be allowed to hear details of those convictions.

To show the credibility of Lunceford’s testimony, prosecutors noted that Lunceford also wrote down her recollections of her conversation with Graham after returning to her regular cell after hearing Graham’s confession. Prosecutors showed jurors copies of the papers Lunceford drafted, which Lunceford shared with a homicide detective only a few days after her encounter with Graham.

 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2012, 07:24:31 AM »

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/12/20/3150494/informant-abuse-after-report-in.html#storylink=misearch

Posted on Thursday, 12.20.12

Informant: abuse after report in missing girl case


 MIAMI -- A jailhouse informant says she was abused by fellow inmates and corrections officers after reporting that a missing Florida foster child's caretaker had confessed to the murder.

Robin Lunceford testified Thursday one officer hit her in the head with a radio and another caused her to fall by stepping on her shackles. Lunceford says she suffered similar abuse by inmates who accused her of snitching.

 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2012, 07:27:46 AM »

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/12/20/3151220/defense-questions-grahams-former.html#storylink=misearch

Posted on Thursday, 12.20.12

Defense questions Graham’s former cellmate
Jailhouse informant Robin Lunceford sparred with the defense after testifying that Graham confessed to her that she killed foster child Rilya Wilson.

By Scott Hiaasen and Anna Edgerton

A day after telling jurors that Geralyn Graham confessed in jail to killing 4-year-old foster child Rilya Wilson, jailhouse informant Robin Lunceford repeatedly sparred Thursday with a defense lawyer who sought to portray Lunceford as a malcontent and opportunist who would say anything to get out of prison.

Lunceford testified that she befriended Graham in jail in 2004, and, while the two shared a cell before attending court hearings, Graham admitted smothering Rilya with a pillow. Lunceford said she was outraged by the child’s death — “anything that has to do with a child, that’s my pet peeve”— but over the years she balked at testifying because of the abuse she said she endured from inmates and guards after being labeled a “snitch.”

“I went back and forth” about testifying, Lunceford said Thursday. But “justice for Rilya always wins over.”

 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2012, 04:58:19 PM »

http://www.facebook.com/pages/In-Memory-of-Rilya-Wilson/130758387003863
In Memory of Rilya Wilson
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« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2013, 05:33:33 PM »

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« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2013, 07:18:30 AM »

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/02/3164815/trial-resumes-in-case-of-missing.html#storylink=misearch

Posted on Wednesday, 01.02.13
Trial resumes in case of missing Fla. foster girl

The Associated Press

MIAMI -- Trial has resumed in the case of a South Florida woman accused of killing missing Florida foster child Rilya Wilson, with the key prosecution witness still on the stand.

Jailhouse informant Robin Lunceford was undergoing cross-examination Wednesday by an attorney for defendant Geralyn Graham. The defense is trying to poke holes in Lunceford's story that Graham confessed in jail to smothering 4-year-old Rilya with a pillow and burying her body near water. The body was never found.

 ::snipping2::

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