MIAMI (AP) — A Florida prosecutor says the caretaker of foster child Rilya Wilson grew to hate the little girl because of defiant behavior, finally killing her in late 2000 and covering it up for years.
Prosecutor Joshua Weintraub told jurors in Tuesday closing arguments they can convict 67-year-old Geralyn Graham of murder even though Rilya’s body was never found. Graham insists she is innocent but faces life in prison if convicted.
Weintraub said Graham concocted stories about Rilya’s supposed bad behavior to justify abuse such as forcing her to stay in a dog cage.
Rilya’s disappearance wasn’t discovered for some 15 months. That led to high-level child welfare agency resignations and passage of several reform laws.
The state’s case relies heavily in jailhouse informants who say Graham confessed to them behind bars.
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