MIAMI (AP) — A Florida prosecutor says the caretaker of foster child Rilya Wilson grew to hate the little girl because of defiant behavior and killed her in 2000.
Prosecutor Joshua Weintraub told jurors in closing arguments Tuesday that they can convict 67-year-old Geralyn Graham of murder even though Rilya's body was never found. She faces life in prison if convicted.
Graham insists she is innocent.
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 by officials for 15 months. That led to high-level child welfare agency resignations and passage of several reform laws.
The state's case relies heavily on jailhouse informants who say Graham confessed to the killing behind bars.