Yesterday, a Plymouth County jury found Michael Riley, the 37-year-old dad of 4-year-old Rebecca Riley, guilty of her first-degree murder. He is sentenced to life in prison without parole. Per Massachusetts law, the verdict is going to be automatically appealed.
Michael and his wife Carolyn are accused of using psychotropic medication to control their three children. Carolyn, 35, was also charged with first-degree murder, but last month, a jury convicted her of second-degree murder.
Prosecutors accused the Rileys of making up their kids’ behavioral problems. They accused the couple of sedating their children so that they could receive benefits designated for families with disabled kids.
Rebecca and her 11-year-old and six-year-old siblings had all been diagnosed with hyperactivity and bipolar disorders. Tufts Medical Center doctor Kayoko Kifuji was the one who prescribed the strong psychiatric drugs to treat their conditions.
Rebecca had been on the drugs since she was 2. She died on December 13, 2006 from a medication overdose.
During Michael’s Plymouth County criminal trial, the South Shore dad was portrayed as a bully who was verbally and physically abusive. Prosecutors said that he would order his wife to sedate the children when he wanted them to be quiet.
However, at their respective criminal trials, the Rileys portrayed themselves as following Dr. Kifuji’s medical instructions. They blamed pneumonia, and not the medication, as the cause of Rebecca’s death. Also, Michael’s criminal defense lawyer said that his client is suffering from bipolar disorder and his only involvement with the drugs included driving the kids to doctor appointments and submitting Social Security disability benefits for his family.
Father guilty in girl’s fatal drugging, Boston.com, March 27, 2010
GUILTY: Michael Riley gets life without parole for killing 4-year-old daughter, Wicked Local, March 27, 2010
Related Web Resources:
Timeline: Rebecca Riley Murder Case, MyFox Boston
VIDEO: Riley guilty of second-degree murder in death of 4-year-old daughter, Patriot Ledger, February 9, 2010
You cannot ensure the best outcome to your Boston homicide case without hiring an experienced Boston, Massachusetts criminal defense attorney by your side.