The prosecution s star witness in the Geralyn Graham trial testified Thursday that life became unbearable in jail after she told police about Graham s alleged confession. NBC 6 reporter Ari Odzer has the story.
The prosecution’s star witness in the Geralyn Graham trial testified Thursday that life became unbearable in jail after she told police about Graham’s alleged confession.
That was because Graham had so many friends there, Robin Lunceford said.
“The trustees would spit in my food,” Lunceford said.
She added about the first-degree murder defendant: “She would pay them in commissary to do her bidding, that’s why everyone loved Mama Graham.”
Lunceford has previously told jurors that Graham confessed to her behind bars, saying that Graham told her she murdered 4-year-old foster child Rilya Wilson because she thought the girl was possessed by demons. Rilya’s body was never found.
Graham, 66, is also charged with kidnapping and child abuse. She insists she is innocent, maintaining 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 that claim.
Lunceford wrapped up four days of testimony on Thursday, a day after she verbally sparred with defense attorney Michael Matters.
During cross-examination, Graham's lawyers tried to portray Lunceford – who plea bargained her life sentence down to 10 years – as just an inmate out to save her own skin. But with Graham watching intently on Thursday, Lunceford finally lost control of her emotions.
She started crying when she recounted harassment she said she received from other inmates. Lunceford said she ended up in fights with many of them.
“You go into a room and you either get your butt kicked or you kick their butt,” the jailhouse informant said.
She sobbed as she explained why she wrote profanity-filled letters to prosecutors demanding that she get better treatment in jail.
"I was overwhelmed, I was tired of the abuse, it was ongoing, it was 8 years, I was tired, I wanted to be left alone, I just wanted to do the right thing and be left alone, and it never stopped,” Lunceford said.
She said she got to the point where she proudly wore the snitch label, taping a picture of Rilya on to her name tag and vowing to testify against Graham.