Defendant's Former Lover Testifies in Rilya Wilson Murder Trial

Pamela Graham said Geralyn Graham had no convincing explanation for where the girl had gone

By Ari Odzer
|  Monday, Dec 17, 2012  |  Updated 8:58 PM EDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Pamela Graham, a key witness for the prosecution, said Geralyn Graham had no convincing explanation for where Rilya Wilson had gone.

Pamela Graham, a key witness for the prosecution, said Geralyn Graham had no convincing explanation for where Rilya Wilson had gone.

advertisement
Photos and Videos

Rilya Wilson's Older Sister Says She Wishes She Could Meet Her

"I really wish that I had a chance to meet her but unfortunately I won't have that chance to meet her," 18-year-old Brandy Sims said Monday of her younger sister Rilya Wilson. She and her father, Willie Sims, attended Geralyn Graham's first-degree murder trial Monday.

Geralyn Graham's Story Didn't Add Up: Witness

Former Department of Children and Families investigator Barbara Toledo said Thursday that none of what Geralyn Graham told her added up. She and Elizabeth Laufer, a DCF worker who questioned Graham, spoke on the stand in Graham's first-degree murder trial.
More Photos and Videos

Geralyn Graham's former lover told jurors Monday that Graham abused Rilya Wilson and then one day, suddenly, the little foster child was gone.

"I didn't understand why," Pamela Graham said.

The key witness for the prosecution said that when she came home one day to the house she shared with Geralyn Graham, 4-year-old Rilya wasn't there – and Geralyn Graham had no convincing explanation.

She said "that she wasn't there, she told me again she wasn't there, and I asked her who was she with, that's when she told me she wasn't there, and then she wasn't coming back and I wasn't gonna see her anymore," Pamela Graham recounted in emotional testimony.

Mistrial Denied in Rilya Wilson Murder Case

Geralyn Graham, 66, could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted of the first-degree murder of 4-year-old Rilya, whose body was never found. She also faces charges of kidnapping and child abuse.

Graham insists she is innocent and maintains that a state child welfare worker took Rilya away for mental tests in January 2001 and never returned her. Investigators have testified they found no evidence to support Graham's claim.

Pamela Graham has already pleaded guilty to two counts of child neglect and will be sentenced after Geralyn Graham's trial is over.

Pamela Graham was the child’s foster parent of record, but Geralyn Graham was the head of their household and is charged with murdering the girl.

Pamela Graham said she was terrified of Geralyn Graham, and looked the other way when Geralyn, she said, would sometimes leave Rilya tied up to the bed for days at a time.

"She was allowed to go to the restroom and to have food, she just couldn't be out among people and enjoy TV or toys or anything like that," she said of the foster child.

When Rilya disappeared, Pamela Graham gathered her nerves and said she was calling the police, she testified.

“The defendant threatened me with a hammer and told me to put the phone down," she said.

That's when, Pamela Graham said, they concocted the story they would tell – that someone from DCF picked up Rilya.

"I was scared, and I knew that I was the one that had legal custody of her and I was just afraid that whatever happened to her I would be blamed for it," she said.

In cross–examination, the defense began to make its case Monday that Pamela Graham is lying, cannot be trusted and is just trying to save her own skin.

The trial resumes Tuesday, and is expected to last through mid-January.

Homicide Detective Recounts Experience With Graham

More Local News

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Get Our New iPad App
Now optimized for iPad, NBC 6... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out