MIAMI – (CBS4) – The former caretaker for Rilya Wilson, the 4-year-old foster child whose disappearance led to a scandal and shake up at Florida’s welfare agency, is expected to face a jury next month.
The trial against Geralyn Graham, the woman who once cared for the child, will center on mostly circumstantial evidence.
That’s because detectives have not been unable to find the child’s body. Graham was indicted on first-degree murder by a grand jury on March 2005. Prosecutors initially sought the death penalty, but have since opted for life in prison.
Graham’s attorney Scott Sakin has maintained her innocence and even suggested Rilya Wilson could still be alive.
However, in the 2005 indictment, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said Graham confided to a cell mate saying that Graham, “broke down and told someone in jail details about Rilya Wilson, including how she killed her.”
That witness and former cell mate, Robin Lunceford, 48, received a sentence reduction in exchange for her testimony.
In a sworn statement, Lunceford told prosecutors that Graham said “in a whisper, like she couldn’t say it loud, she just said I like, whispered to me, ‘I killed it.’”
The trial is scheduled to begin in mid-October before Judge Bertila Soto.