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State To Retry Geralyn Graham For Murder

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Geralyn Graham in court on Friday, January 25, 2013. (Source: CBS4)

Geralyn Graham in court on Friday, January 25, 2013. (Source: CBS4)

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South Florida Crime

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The state of Florida has decided to retry Geralyn Graham for the murder of 4-year-old Rilya Wilson. The move comes after a jury in January convicted Graham for kidnapping and abuse, but hung 11-1 on the murder charge.

Prosecutors said Graham, 67, is the only person who could have kidnapped and killed Wilson. The foster child disappeared more than a decade ago and her body was never found. Defense attorneys countered that no physical evidence linked Graham to Wilson’s murder.

The state’s case relied on the testimony of three jailhouse snitches who said Graham made incriminating statements about Rilya. One of those informants was convicted armed robber Robin Lunceford who the defense said concocted the story as a way to get out of prison.

Graham has already been sentenced to 55 years in prison for the kidnapping and abuse charges. Graham’s defense attorneys requested the trial transcripts Friday, according to the Herald.

A trial date was originally scheduled for April, but after defense attorneys asked for a continuance, the judge in the case said a re-trial on the murder charge is now likely to happen in September, according to the Herald.

Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle issued a statement Friday afternoon saying in par, “No child should ever be treated as she was. We have spent a decade on a journey to secure true justice for Rilya and to ensure that her pain and suffering is never forgotten. The murder of a child is such a terrible crime that we intend to continue to seek justice for Rilya Wilson.”

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