Trial Resumes Tuesday in Rilya Wilson Murder Case

Trial of woman charged in murder of Miami girl to resume

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Trial resumed Tuesday in the case of Geralyn Graham, who is accused of murdering foster child Rilya Wilson, whose body has never been found. Deborah Muskelly, the Department of Children and Families case worker assigned to Wilson, spoke about how she learned that the 4-year-old child was missing. Defense attorney Scott Sakin pressed her on different points in court, with Muskelly acknowledging that she did check on the girl's well-being in person. (Published Tuesday, Dec 4, 2012)

    Trial resumed Tuesday in the case of a South Florida woman accused of murdering a foster child whose body has never been found.
     
    The second week of testimony began in the trial of 66-year-old Geralyn Graham, who faces a life prison sentence if convicted. Graham has insisted she did not kill foster child Rilya Wilson, who went missing more than a decade ago.

    Deborah Muskelly, the Department of Children and Families case worker assigned to Wilson, was on the stand all day Tuesday.  She was previously prosecuted for official misconduct after DCF said she falsified documents for 18 months, indicating that she had been checking up on the child when she had not.

    Geralyn Graham Sometimes Put Rilya Wilson in Dog Cage: Witness

    [MI] Geralyn Graham Sometimes Put Rilya Wilson in Dog Cage: Witness
    Geralyn Graham sometimes put her foster child Rilya Wilson into a dog cage to restrict her movements, witness Ludwig "Ziggy" Smith testified in her murder trial Thursday. Detra Winfield, who lent the cage to Graham, cried in court. When a defense attorney asked Winfield if she ever saw Rilya in the dog cage, she replied no. (Published Thursday, Nov 29, 2012)

    DCF said Muskelly had only been taking Graham's word for the child's whereabouts, and admitted in court that she did not have any documented contact with Wilson after January 2001.

    Muskelly said Tuesday that because she had more than a hundred cases to monitor, she called Graham on the phone instead of visiting in person to check on Wilson's well-being.

    Rilya Wilson Had Scars on Her Arms, Head: Witness

    [MI] Rilya Wilson Had Scars on Her Arms, Head: Witness
    Family friend Laquica Tuff testified Wednesday that she saw foster child Rilya Wilson with scars on her arms and head before she disappeared. Wednesday was the third day of Rilya s caretaker Geralyn Graham, who is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and child abuse. (Published Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012)

    Muskelly described the moment she was informed that the child was missing.

    "He asked me where she was, I said she was with Ms. Graham," Muskelly said. "He said, 'OK,' he was gonna get it checked out. He called back and said she wasn't there."

    Muskelly also recounted when Wilson was moved to the Graham house from another family without her knowledge and was kept there despite her efforts to return Wilson.

    "A little shocked, a little upset, because the child was fine with the Kendricks, I didn't understand why she was moved,” she said.

    It has been argued that if she had done her job properly, Wilson's disappearance would've been noticed immediately.

    Graham Sometimes Put Rilya in Dog Cage: Witness
     
    Witnesses so far have said they saw possible signs of abuse on the girl but none have testified they saw Graham harm the child. One witness said she was told Rilya was sometimes kept in a large dog cage, but never saw the girl inside it.
     
    Later in the trial two jailhouse snitches are expected to testify that Graham confessed to killing Wilson.

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