Parents deliberately overdosed their daughter, Rebecca/ Carolyn Riley Found Guilty in the death of her daughter, Rebecca/ Father, Michael's trial happening NOW

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Normal Parents deliberately overdosed their daughter, Rebecca/ Carolyn Riley & Michael Riley, both Found Guilty in the death of their daughter, Rebecca

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:38 pm

By DENNIS TATZ and SUE REINERT
The Patriot Ledger



In a case that defies comprehension, a husband and wife from Hull appeared in court today on charges of killing their 4-year-old daughter with a deliberate drug overdose.

Police said Michael Riley, 34, who was awaiting trial for attempted child rape, and Carolyn Riley, 32, gave their daughter, Rebecca Jeanne, a fatal dose of prescription pills on Dec. 13.





In an affidavit filed with the court, State Police Trooper Anna Brookes said there was evidence of a "slow and painful killing of Rebecca Riley over a period of days."

Brookes said the Rileys refused to accept help from agencies that had identified problems with the way Rebecca was being given medicine.

The affidavit said the couple was indifferent to her "obvious pain and suffering," and failed "to provide any medical care to their own daughter as she lay visibly suffering, drowning in her own bodily fluids on the floor beside their bed."

The state medical examiner's office said the girl died from the combined effects of three drugs used to treat bipolar disorder, including Clonidine, and two over-the-counter cold medicines.

"This occurred as a result of the intentional overdose of Rebecca with Clonidine," the Plymouth County District Attorney's office said in a statement announcing the charges.

The Clonidine was prescribed by Dr. Kayoko Kifuji, Tufts New England Medical Center psychiatrist, to treat the young girl for hyperactivity and bipolar disorder. The other two drugs were Depakote and Seroquel, which are also used to treat bipolar disorder.

Authorities said the girl was diagnosed with both disorders when she was 28 months old.

James McGonnell, Carolyn Riley's half brother, and his fiancee, Kelly Williams, who lived with the family, told police they had repeatedly asked the Rileys to take Rebecca to the hospital or to a pediatrician.

They said the Rileys told them they has made an appointment, but only offered excuses for not going. They said Michael Riley told his wife to medicate the children when he determined that they were acting up.
The state medical examiner's office said the girl died from the combined effects of three drugs used to treat bipolar disorder, including Clonidine, and two over-the-counter cold medicines.

The state Department of Social Services placed the Rileys' two other children, Gerard, 11, and Kaitlynne, 6, in foster care about 10 hours after Rebecca's death.

"There were mitigating circumstances," department spokesman Denise Monteiro said yesterday. "We had to take custody of the children. I can't say any more."

Carolyn Riley obtained a restraining order against her husband in October, but allowed it to lapse after a few weeks.

McGonnell and Williams told police they saw Michael Riley grab his son by the neck and bang his head against the back window of a pickup truck "in an apparent uncontrollable rage," the affidavit said.

McGonnell said Riley was not allowed to live with his family in Weymouth public housing because of a court order issued after he was arrested on the sex charges in 2005.

Police were called to the Rileys' home at 70 Lynn Ave. in Hull's Kenberma neighborhood, opposite Nantasket Beach, at 6:30 a.m. on Dec. 13. They found found Rebecca dead on the floor of her parents' bedroom.

An obituary prepared by the couple and published in The Patriot Ledger said the little girl had died in her sleep.

The Rileys will be arraigned today in Hingham District Court on charges of first-degree murder.

The couple was arrested yesterday at Michael Riley's mother's home on Fallgren Lane in Weymouth. He was held overnight at the Plymouth County jail and Carolyn Riley was held at the Marshfield police lockup.

Michael Riley was indicted in September 2005 on charges of attempted rape of a girl under 14, four counts of indecent assault and battery on a child and giving pornography to a child.

Weymouth Police Lt. George Greenwood said Riley was arrested in June 2005 after police searched his apartment at 43 Memorial Drive in Weymouth and confiscated a computer, diaries and notebooks.

He was scheduled for trial on May 29 in Norfolk Superior Court.

He was free on $2,500 bail posted by his wife.

Court records show Riley has a bullet hole and the letters "RRR" tattooed on his back.

Michael Riley graduated from Weymouth High School in 1991 and his wife, the former Carolyn DiSalvo, graduated in 1992.

On Dec. 30, two weeks after their daughter's death, they attended his 15th high school reunion at the Weymouth Elks Club. Michael Riley told a friend he and his wife needed to get out so they would stop thinking about Rebecca.

Hull Police Chief Richard Billings praised State Police Sgt. Scott Warmington, State Police Detective Anna Brookes and Hull Police Detective John Coggins for their investigation that led to the arrests.

A neighbor, Phyllis Lipton, said Carolyn Riley, her three children, Carolyn's stepbrother, his girlfriend and their son, moved into a home at 70 Lynn Ave. in mid-November.

Lipton, 51, said the family told her Carolyn's husband, Michael, wouldn't be living with them although he appeared to be there all the time.

"They moved in during the middle of the night," Lipton said. "All I could hear was foul language coming from the house."

Lipton said either Carolyn's stepbrother or his girlfriend told her that Rebecca had a twin who died at age of 2 weeks.

Lipton rarely saw the children, she said, but added Gerard Riley once returned hedge clippers he had taken without asking.

"He had obviously gone into my shed to get them," she said. "He said his cousin was the one who got them from the shed."

Lipton said when she heard someone had died in the Riley home her first thought was that Michael Riley had killed his wife.

"No one knew there was a child sick in the house," she said. "We thought they had moved out."

Lipton said the Rileys left about two weeks after their daughter's death. Carolyn Riley's stepbrother and his family followed a few weeks later.

Lipton said all three Riley children had special needs.

Rebecca attended the Elden H. Johnson Early Childhood Center in North Weymouth. The school provides full- and part-day classes for children ages 3 to 5. The center's principal, Victoria Silberstein, declined to comment.

Michael Riley's mother, Kathleen Riley, would not comment on the case when a reporter arrived at her home last night.

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Normal What Killed Rebecca Riley?

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:57 pm

Katie Couric Reports On The Diagnosis Of Bipolar Disorder In Kids

(CBS) On Dec. 13, 2006, police responded to a 911 call and found a little girl lying dead on the floor next to her parents' bed. The autopsy revealed that she had died from an overdose of psychiatric drugs. Rebecca Riley was being treated for bipolar disorder, or manic depression, even though she was just four years old.

If that sounds unusual to you, it's not. As Katie Couric reports, until recently the disorder was believed to emerge only in adults. Now, it is estimated that there are nearly one million children diagnosed as bipolar, making it more common than autism and diabetes combined. And to treat it, doctors are administering some medications that have yet to be approved for children. In the case of Rebecca Riley, that cocktail of medications proved fatal and now her parents have been charged with her murder.


Carolyn Riley is now in jail in Boston awaiting trial and is being medicated for depression. She told 60 Minutes her daughter's problems began when Rebecca was only two years old. Carolyn took her to a psychiatrist because she had difficulty sleeping and seemed hyperactive.

"Constantly getting into things, running around, not being able to settle down," Riley remembers.

"Did you ever think, 'Well, she's two and a half years old.' There's this thing called the terrible 2's. Did you think this could, in fact, be normal?" Couric asks.

"Yes," Riley tells Couric. "The psychiatrist said that she thought that it was more than just normal."

The toddler who could barely speak in full sentences was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after several sessions over eight months. She had just turned 3. And she wasn't the only one in the family: her ten-year-old brother and four-year-old sister were already being treated for the same illness by the same doctor at Tufts-New England Medical Center. Rebecca was eventually prescribed three medications to stabilize her mood: Seroquel, an anti psychotic; Depakote, an anti seizure drug; and Clonidine, a blood pressure medication -- medications that would ultimately prove fatal on Dec. 13th.

Riley says she thought Rebecca had just a little bit of a cold and gave her daughter "Children's Tylenol Plus Cough & Runny Nose."

In the middle of the night, Riley remembers her daughter didn't want to go to sleep. "So I brought her in the room. She was right beside me on the floor. And I laid down and went to sleep," she recalls.

Before she put her to bed that night, next to her on the floor, Riley says she gave her daughter half a Clonidine.

Asked why, Riley tells Couric, "Because she hadn't been able to get to sleep since six o'clock."

"Then what happened?" Couric asks.

"Then I woke up to the alarm in the morning. And knelt down to wake her up. And there was no waking her up," Riley replies.

Riley says she knew at that point that her daughter had died. Carolyn Riley and her husband Michael were charged with first-degree murder.

The prosecutor alleged at their arraignment in February that they were overdosing Rebecca by repeatedly giving her more medication than she was prescribed. "It was used on Rebecca, her sister and her brother for one simple purpose by these defendants: to knock them out and make them sleep," the prosecutor claimed.

But the Rileys claim that they were following doctor's orders. 60 Minutes wanted to talk to the psychiatrist, Dr. Kayoko Kifuji, but she declined. Instead 60 Minutes got a statement from her hospital: "The care we provided was appropriate and within responsible professional standards."

60 Minutes did obtain a copy of Rebecca's medical records. In them, Dr. Kifuji notes Rebecca's increased risk of mental illness because of her family history. She diagnosed Rebecca after Carolyn said her daughter was - quote - "driving me crazy" and her mood switches within a minute. She would eventually prescribe the preschooler more than ten pills a day.

Riley says she did feel that that was a lot of pills for a little girl, but she says she went ahead and gave Rebecca the prescriptions. "I trusted the doctor," she says.

Dr. Kifuji has stopped practicing, pending a ruling by the state medical board. But her lawyer has said she was just practicing mainstream psychiatry. It's now estimated that nearly one million children like Rebecca Riley have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, or manic depression. And while some psychiatrists told 60 Minutes that early diagnosis is saving lives, a growing number of doctors say it is being over-diagnosed.

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Normal A chronology of involvement by the state Department of Social Services with the family of 4-year-old Rebecca Riley.

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:01 pm

December 2002: DSS receives a complaint that the Rileys' oldest child had been neglected while the family was living in Springfield. DSS substantiates the complaint and opens a file on the family.

June 2005: DSS investigates allegations that Michael Riley had sexually abused Carolyn Riley's 13-year-old daughter from another relationship and refers case to Norfolk district attorney's office. DSS also investigates whether Carolyn Riley had neglected the couple's three children.

June 2006: The oldest child, an 11-year-old boy, is taken to the hospital by ambulance. DSS is assured by doctors and neurologists that he was not abused or neglected.

June 2006: A therapist working with Rebecca and her 6-year-old sister files a complaint with DSS after Rebecca's 6-year-old sister said during a home visit that Michael Riley had hit her. DSS had already investigated and did not substantiate the report.

July 2006: The therapist files a second complaint with DSS, saying that during another home visit that Carolyn Riley appeared drugged and pointed out a puddle of urine where Rebecca had wet the rug while napping. DSS says doctors treating the Riley family say the mother and children are receiving appropriate medication.

October 2006: DSS investigates and substantiates reports from relatives that Michael Riley grabbed his son by the neck and slammed his head against a car window. Carolyn Riley seeks a restraining order.

November 2006: DSS meets in the agency's Weymouth office with Carolyn Riley, who says she plans to move to Hull and assures them the restraining order against her husband is still active.

Dec. 13, 2006: Rebecca Riley is found dead on her parents' bedroom floor. An autopsy later indicates she was poisoned by prescription medicine. DSS removes her siblings and places them in foster care. The agency also begins taking steps to seek a second medical opinion on the treatment and diagnosis of Rebecca Riley and her two siblings.

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Normal ER physician says overdose killed Rebecca Riley

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:03 pm

By Lane Lambert
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Jan 30, 2010 @ 03:06 AM
Last update Jan 30, 2010 @ 09:33 AM
BROCKTON —

On Thursday, a Children’s Hospital pathologist said Rebecca Riley could have died from a combination of pneumonia and toxic amounts of a prescription drug. But an emergency room doctor from the same hospital was not hesitant on Friday.

“It’s toxic, and I think it caused her death,” Dr. Michele Burns-Ewald said of the drug clonidine while testifying at Carolyn Riley’s murder trial in Plymouth Superior Court.

Speaking as a prosecution witness, Burns-Ewald said the amount of the blood-pressure drug in the 4-year-old girl’s bloodstream was at least three times and possibly as much as six times higher than the amount considered safe for children.

Clonidine is also used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Rebecca Riley was diagnosed with ADHD and bipolar disorder when she was 2 by Dr. Kayoko Kifuji of Tufts-New England Medical Center.

Rebecca died at her family’s Hull home on Dec. 13, 2006. Her parents, Carolyn and Michael Riley, are charged with first-degree murder for overdosing her with the clonidine. They say their daughter died of pneumonia, and that they were following Kifuji’s instructions.

Burns-Ewald is also medical director for the regional poison control center for Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She said the safe levels for youngsters may be even lower than those used by Children’s Hospital and other hospitals, because the generally accepted safe levels are based on adult dosages.

Burns-Ewald said she has treated 50 children for accidental clonidine overdoses and reviewed 2,000 other pediatric clonidine overdoses reported to the poison control center. She said none of those overdoses were fatal, but also that some of the children required intensive hospital treatment for overdose levels significantly lower than Rebecca Riley’s.

Representing Carolyn Riley, attorney Michael Bourbeau challenged Burns-Ewald’s analysis at every turn. He said she was relying on other people’s medical reports and was assuming that Rebecca had a lethal amount of clonidine in her blood. He also noted that the only known fatal cases involved children with levels far higher than Rebecca Riley’s.

But Burns-Ewald stood her ground.

“Four-year-old children, as a rule, don’t die of pneumonia,” she said.

When Bourbeau suggested that Rebecca’s symptoms were the result of sepsis – her body’s reaction to bacterial pneumonia infection – Burns-Ewald shot back, “We have absolutely no idea what her vital signs were before she died.”

On Wednesday, the Riley family’s former pediatrician, Dr. Joel Stemmer of Quincy, testified that he did not get an office call or pager message from the Rileys in the days before Rebecca’s death. The Rileys said they were treating the girl with over-the-counter medications.

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Normal Re: Parents deliberately overdosed their daughter, Rebecca/ Carolyn Riley Found Guilty in the death of her daughter, Rebecca/ Father, Michael's trial happening NOW

Post by laga on Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:06 pm

Was this deliberate parental overdose or doctor malpractice or both?
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Normal Rebecca Riley murder case puts focus on bipolar disorder and kids

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:09 pm

By Lane Lambert
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Feb 20, 2010 @ 12:00 PM
Last update Feb 22, 2010 @ 09:10 AM
HULL —

When Rebecca Riley died in December 2006, pediatricians and psychiatric experts here and across the country were already debating whether preschoolers like the 4-year-old Hull girl could be diagnosed with bipolar and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Now that her mother, Carolyn Riley, has been convicted of murder for overdosing her with prescription drugs, the questions are even sharper.



More than ever, “it’s not clear if the diagnosis is valid below age 6,” said Dr. Jon McClellan, a nationally known child psychiatrist at Seattle Children’s Hospital and the University of Washington.

McClellan doesn’t think the childhood disorder is the same thing as the adult condition. Massachusetts General Hospital child psychiatrist Dr. Donald Condie doesn’t go quite that far – he says it’s become “more controversial” to see child and adult disorders the same way, in part due to Rebecca’s death.

In Scituate, psychiatric nurse practitioner and national advocate Mary Ann McDonnell defends childhood bipolar diagnosis – though not for kids Rebecca Riley’s age.

“Age 2 or 4 is too young,” said McDonnell, who’s the cofounder of STEP Up 4 Kids, a nonprofit that supports preteen and teenage youth with bipolar disorder.

While the bipolar diagnosis wasn’t a part of the Riley case – though the prosecution did suggest that Carolyn may have fabricated her daughter’s symptoms – Hingham psychologist Dr. John Sheff said the case does pose a grim reminder for anyone who treats children for such mental conditions: “Yellow light. Proceed with caution.”

That’s one thing that parents, Rebecca’s teachers and many health professionals thought Dr. Kayoko Kifuji didn’t exercise, by diagnosing Rebecca with bipolar and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders at age 2, then prescribing the powerful drugs clonidine and Depakote.

The Tufts Medical Center psychiatrist testified under immunity at Carolyn Riley’s trial. She voluntarily gave up her medical license when Michael and Carolyn Riley were arrested for Rebecca’s death in February 2007. She was cleared of criminal wrongdoing by a grand jury and has returned to practice at the hospital.

Sheff and others don’t dispute that youngsters can have serious conditions. “The question is whether you call that bipolar, and how best to treat them,” McClellan said.

Until the early 1990s, the question wouldn’t have even be asked.

Youngsters with explosive anger problems were previously seen as having more intense cases of ADHD. Then a Harvard Medical School team concluded that more of those children had bipolar disorder. In the years since, the volume of bipolar diagnoses has soared from rare to more than 1 million.

McClellan and Sheff have treated patients as young as 10. McDonnell once treated a 5-year-old, “but that was a very extreme case,” she said. Hers are typically at least 8 or 10.

While the Riley trial raised questions about “bipolar kids,” McDonnell and Sheff insist the problem is real.

“The kids I see are really sick,” McDonnell said. “They’re getting kicked out of kindergarten. They’re stabbing their mothers with forks.”

Condie and McClellan agree. But McClellan said uncertainties about pediatric bipolar disorder aren’t likely to be settled until it can be identified as reliably as the adult condition.

“It was a debate long before the tragedy (of Rebecca Riley’s death), and it continues to be a debate,” McClellan said.

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Normal Re: Parents deliberately overdosed their daughter, Rebecca/ Carolyn Riley Found Guilty in the death of her daughter, Rebecca/ Father, Michael's trial happening NOW

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:12 pm

laga wrote:Was this deliberate parental overdose or doctor malpractice or both?
Great question!! I think both. No way a child needs to be taking those drugs.

I had never heard of this case before. It's just horrible!! crying And, what a beautiful little girl she was.

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Normal Riley’s former neighbors react to guilty verdict

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:16 pm

By Allison Manning
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Feb 10, 2010 @ 06:14 AM
WEYMOUTH —

Carolyn Riley wasn’t a good parent, her former neighbors said, but they doubted that she intentionally overdosed her 4-year-old daughter with psychotropic drugs.

“They’re guilty of not being good parents,” former Lakeview Manor next-door neighbor William Ordway said after Carolyn Riley was found guilty of second-degree murder Tuesday. “Stupidity was a big part of it.”

Carolyn Riley was charged with first-degree murder in the death of her daughter, Rebecca. Riley’s husband, Michael, will face the same charge when his case goes to trial next month.

“Whatever she did, she did to please him,” Ordway said of the relationship between husband and wife. “She didn’t know how to function without him.”

Ordway, whose ex-girlfriend Lorraine Healey testified for the prosecution during the trial, said he expected a verdict of manslaughter, pointing to what he felt was the ineffectiveness of the Department of Social Services and family psychiatrist.

“I don’t believe she intended to kill the child,” he said. “She wasn’t a great mother.

“The doctor and DSS should be held responsible,” he said. “(The Rileys) are at fault and they are bad parents, but everyone should be held responsible.”

One nearby neighbor, who declined to give her name, said she knew many residents who were following the trial. Riley’s mother, Valerie Berio, still lives in the public housing complex off Lake Street.

The neighbor said she expected a manslaughter verdict, citing the school officials, social workers, doctors, neighbors and friends involved in the family’s life who testified they worried for Rebecca’s well being.

“If you saw, why wasn’t more done?” she said. “Take it to the next step to protect this child.”

Michael Riley’s trial is to begin March 8.

A different neighbor, who also did not want to be named, said Michael Riley controlled what went on in the household, which included locking kitchen cabinets. But while her husband called the shots, Carolyn Riley did the work, the neighbor said.

“It was always her who did the calling and the pills,” the neighbor said. “I think he had her do it so she would be accused, not him.”

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Normal Re: Parents deliberately overdosed their daughter, Rebecca/ Carolyn Riley Found Guilty in the death of her daughter, Rebecca/ Father, Michael's trial happening NOW

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:18 pm

Before she turned 3, Rebecca Riley was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity and bipolar disorders. By age 4 she was dead. Authorities said her body succumbed to a cocktail of prescription drugs typically given to adults.

Her parents, Michael and Carolyn Riley, go to trial Thursday on murder charges in a case that reignited a long-running debate in psychiatry over whether young children can be accurately diagnosed with serious mental illnesses, and if so, how they should be treated.

The Rileys insist they were just following doctor's orders, and contend the girl died of pneumonia in December 2006.

Prosecutors allege the parents deliberately overmedicated the brown-eyed, chipmunk-cheeked girl to keep her quiet, and ended up killing her.

Carolyn Riley's lawyer, Michael Bourbeau, declined to comment on the eve of the trial in Brockton Superior Court but has said Carolyn Riley gave her daughter only the number of pills prescribed by Dr. Kayoko Kifuji.

"Carolyn Riley has done everything she could as a mother to take care of her child. She relied on the doctor," Bourbeau said during a pretrial hearing.

Michael Riley's lawyer, John Darrell, called his client "a loving parent who cared about his children" and insists the Rileys strictly followed the orders of Kifuji, who he has called "a totally irresponsible doctor."

Kifuji was not charged in Rebecca's death. A grand jury refused to indict her, and in September she was reinstated to her job as a child psychiatrist at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. She has declined repeated interview requests.

Some psychiatrists believe the case illustrates a trend of overdiagnosing bipolar disorder in young children, an illness traditionally diagnosed in adolescence or early adulthood.

"There are some kids who need those medicines, but I think you get on a slippery slope when, rather than acknowledging that it's really tough to diagnose this in preschoolers, there's a tendency to say, 'Let's give her medication,"' said Dr. Oscar Bukstein, a child psychiatrist and professor at the University of Pittsburgh who is not involved in the case.

According to a state medical examiner, Rebecca died of a combination of Clonidine, a blood pressure medication the girl had been prescribed for ADHD; Depakote, an antiseizure and mood-stabilizing drug prescribed for bipolar disorder; and two over-the-counter drugs, a cough suppressant and an antihistamine. The amount of Clonidine alone in Rebecca's system was enough to be fatal, the medical examiner said.

The two prescription drugs, Clonidine and Depakote, are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in adults only, although doctors can legally prescribe them to children and often do.

In the months before her death, Rebecca showed signs of being overmedicated. A school nurse said she was so weak she was like a "floppy doll." Her principal said she had to help the girl off the bus and walking on stairs several times because she was shaking.

Relatives told police the Rileys called Clonidine "happy medicine" and "sleep medicine," and gave it to their two other children, who had also been diagnosed with ADHD and bipolar disorder by Kifuji.

Prosecutors have said they believe Carolyn Riley made up stories about losing or accidentally ruining bottles of Clonidine so that she could get more pills to give to Rebecca and the other children.

They also claim the Rileys, of Hull, concocted symptoms of mental illness in hopes of collecting Social Security disability payments for her, as they had with their other kids.

Kifuji, who will be called by prosecutors to testify at the trial, has insisted that she warned Carolyn Riley against giving Rebecca any extra Clonidine.

"The medications that she prescribed and that were used to treat Rebecca are commonly used and highly appropriate to treat ADHD and bipolar," said her lawyer, Bruce Singal. "As long as they are taken as prescribed, they are an appropriate and effective method to treat those illnesses."

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Normal Re: Parents deliberately overdosed their daughter, Rebecca/ Carolyn Riley Found Guilty in the death of her daughter, Rebecca/ Father, Michael's trial happening NOW

Post by Guest on Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:14 am

crying omg over reaction Little children should not be diagnosed and treated for bipolar disorder. This is wrong on so many levels.
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Normal SICK, OR A KILLER? At trial’s opening, jury gets different pictures of Michael Riley

Post by Nama on Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:09 am

During opening statements at Michael Riley’s murder trial, the jury got two starkly different pictures of the man charged with killing his own daughter.
On the first day of the former Hull resident’s trial in Plymouth County Superior Court, Riley’s attorney described him as “terribly flawed” from mental illness and in following the lead of his wife, Carolyn Riley, and psychiatrist Kayoko Kifuji in the treatment of Riley’s 4-year-old daughter Rebecca.
Prosecutors, meanwhile, said Michael Riley was far more involved in seeking and then controlling the powerful prescription drugs that all three Riley children got.
“On the day Rebecca died, he immediately points the finger at Carolyn, and that is … nothing but a pack of lies,” prosecutor Frank Middleton told the jury Tuesday.
Rebecca died of a clonidine overdose at the family’s Hull home in December 2006.
Prosecutors also charged the Rileys with failing to get the little girl medical treatment in the days before she died.
They say the Rileys concocted symptoms of bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder for all three children, mainly to get Social Security disability payments for them.
The two older children got the SSI payments, but the claim for Rebecca was rejected.
“It’s all about the money,” Middleton said.
Kifuji diagnosed all three children and prescribed clonidine for their ADHD and Depakote for bipolar disorder.
The Rileys were arrested for Rebecca’s death in February 2007. Their trials were separated a few days before Carolyn went on trial in January.
Carolyn Riley was convicted of second-degree murder in February and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 15 years.
Along with showing Michael Riley as deeply involved in all that happened to Rebecca, Middleton also clearly intends to emphasize Michael’s verbal and physical abuse of Rebecca and her older brother and sister – actions that were briefly noted during Carolyn Riley’s trial.
Middleton also outlined Michael’s reactions to Rebecca’s death as even colder than Carolyn’s – in some instances even flippant.
As police and firefighters investigated her death on the morning of Dec. 13, 2006, Michael allegedly asked, “How long is this gonna take?”
The next day, he allegedly told a former Weymouth neighbor with a smirk, “Now maybe we can get Section 8 housing.”
At Rebecca’s memorial service, Michael allegedly told an acquaintance, “This whole show is so her mother can get into heaven.”
Defense lawyer John Darrell disputed that picture. He said the Rileys “did what they could.”
He noted that Michael Riley was not with the family for a year, and “did not give that child (Rebecca) the pills.”
He said Michael has a “rapid cycle” form of bipolar disorder, and was in treatment at Weston Lodge in November 2006, shortly before he joined Carolyn Riley and their children in Hull.

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Normal Psychiatrist will be back in spotlight for Michael Riley trial

Post by Nama on Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:12 am



Dr. Kayoko Kifuji was in the spotlight at Carolyn Riley’s trial, and she’ll be on the stand again during the trial of Riley’s husband, Michael.

In his opening statement, Michael Riley’s attorney, John Darrell, made it clear that he is ready to put the Tufts Medical Center psychiatrist at the center of the Riley children’s medical treatment and Rebecca Riley’s death.

At one point unintentionally referring to Kifuji as “Doctor Clonidine,” Darrell told Michael Riley’s jury, “She gave an unapproved drug to a child with no real guidance (to the parents).”

That, he said, is “the crime we ought to be here for today.”

Darrell was referring to the widespread use of clonidine for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, even though the blood pressure medication is not specifically approved for ADHD and has not been tested in clinical trials with youngsters.

Kifuji voluntarily gave up her medical license when the Rileys were charged with murder in 2007.

She was investigated and cleared by a grand jury and has returned to practice at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

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Normal Principal: Michael Riley seemed chatty the day after Rebecca died

Post by Nama on Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:13 am

Johnson Early Childhood Center Principal Victoria Silberstein told jurors during the March 12 session of Michael Riley’s first-degree murder trial in Plymouth County Superior Court that he seemed chatty the day after his four-year-old daughter Rebecca died from an overdose of prescription medicine.

Silberstein said that she met Riley and his wife Carolyn when they came to the school to collect Rebecca’s personal belongings.

Carolyn Riley was convicted of second-degree murder on Feb. 9 in connection with Rebecca’s death on Dec. 13, 2006.

Judge Charles Hely sentenced Carolyn Riley to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole in 15 years. Her defense attorneys are preparing to appeal the sentence.

Silberstein also testified that Michael Riley told the staff that Rebecca died from choking on her own vomit.

The principal generally repeated the same testimony that she gave during Carolyn Riley’s trial.

During that proceeding, Silberstein said that she saw Michael and Carolyn laughing as they left the building after receiving Rebecca’s belongings.

Prosecutors are portraying Michael Riley as a manipulator who caused Rebecca to die from a series of prescription medicine overdoses.

Defense attorney John Darrell maintains that Riley is “terribly flawed from mental illnesses.”

The prosecution alleges that Michael and Carolyn Riley concocted a scheme to persuade Dr. Kayoko Kifuji, a former Tufts-New England Medical Center psychiatrist, to needlessly prescribe medications to treat Rebecca for bipolar and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in an attempt to get Social Security disability payments for her.

Social Security officials denied the couple’s request for benefits on behalf of Rebecca.

Kifuji diagnosed Rebecca with bipolar disorder and ADHD at the age of two.

The psychiatrist voluntarily surrendered her license to practice shortly after state authorities began reviewing the case.

The state medical licensing board eventually cleared Kifuji to resume practicing shortly after a grand jury declined to indict her on criminal charges in connection with Rebecca’s death.

Testimony in Michael Riley’s trial is expected to resume on March 15.

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Normal Prosecutors say money had role in Rebecca Riley’s death

Post by Nama on Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:14 am

During his first-degree murder trial, Plymouth County prosecutors portrayed Michael Riley on March 9 as a manipulator who caused his four-year-old daughter Rebecca to die from a series of prescription medicine overdoses, but defense attorney John Darrell said that his client is “terribly flawed from mental illnesses.”

“It’s all about the money,” Assistant District Attorney Frank Middleton said.

Prosecutors allege that Michael Riley and his wife Carolyn schemed to persuade Dr. Kayoko Kifuji, a former Tuft-New England Medical Center psychiatrist, to needlessly prescribe medications for Rebecca in an attempt to get Social Security disability payments for her.

A jury convicted Carolyn Riley of second-degree murder in connection with Rebecca’s Dec. 13, 2006 death in Hull, where the Rileys lived for a short time before they moved to Weymouth the following year.

Prosecutors allege that the Rileys concocted symptoms of bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for Rebecca and her two siblings to get Social Security disability payments.

The older children got the payments but a claim for Rebecca was turned down.

Kifuji diagnosed Rebecca with bipolar disorder and ADHD at the age of two.

Darrell said that Kifuji gave a prescription for Clonidine that is used to treat bipolar without any real guidance.

That, he said, is “the crime we ought to be here for today.”

Kifuji voluntarily surrendered her license to practice shortly after state authorities began reviewing the case.

The state medical licensing board cleared Kifuji to resume practicing shortly after the grand jury declined to indict her on criminal charges in connection with Rebecca’s death.

Middleton said that Michael Riley was quite involved in getting the prescription drugs for his children and controlling the amounts that they received.

“On the day Rebecca died, he immediately points the finger at Carolyn, and that is nothing but a pack of lies,” Middleton said.

According to Middleton, Michael Riley had an indifferent reaction to Rebecca’s death and at one point asked police and firefighters, “How long is this gonna take?” while they performed an investigation in the home.

With a smirk, Michael Riley allegedly told a former neighbor, “Now maybe we can get Section 8 housing,” the day after Rebecca died.

He reportedly told an acquaintance at Rebecca’s memorial service, “This whole show is so her mother can get into heaven.”

Darrell said that the Rileys did what they could for Rebecca.

Darrell also said that Michael Riley did not give Rebecca the amounts of medication that were prescribed for her because he was receiving treatment for a “rapid cycle” form of bipolar disorder at Weston Lodge in November, 2006 before he joined Carolyn and their children in Hull.

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Normal Re: Parents deliberately overdosed their daughter, Rebecca/ Carolyn Riley Found Guilty in the death of her daughter, Rebecca/ Father, Michael's trial happening NOW

Post by Nama on Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:15 am

The Massachusetts man accused of killing his 4-year-old daughter by overmedicating her with prescription drugs is blaming his wife and a psychiatrist for the girl's death in 2006.
Michael Riley was depicted Tuesday as a father who was not involved with the drugs his daughter, Rebecca, was taking. Riley's lawyer said Carolyn Riley was the parent who gave the girl drugs based on directions from Dr. Kayoko Kifuji (kah-YOH'-koh kee-FOO'-jee).
But prosecutor Frank Middleton told the jury during opening statements at Michael Riley's murder trial that Riley repeatedly ordered his wife to give the drugs to the girl and the couple's other two children to keep them quiet and out of his way.
Carolyn Riley was convicted of second-degree murder last month.

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Normal Now a convicted murderer, Carolyn Riley hopes for reversal on appeal

Post by Nama on Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:17 am


Three weeks after her murder conviction, Carolyn Riley is sharing a cell in the mental health unit in the state women’s prison in Framingham.

She has seen a psychiatrist at least once but hasn’t joined inmate therapy groups. The only way she can communicate with her husband, Michael Riley, is by letter. And she still hopes her case will be reversed on appeal.

That’s how her mother, Valerie Berio of Weymouth, describes the former Hull resident’s life, as Riley begins serving a possible life sentence for second-degree murder for the December 2006 death of her 4-year-old daughter Rebecca.

“She seems to accept everything that happens. She goes on and deals with it,” Berio said, in her first media interview since Carolyn’s trial. “But she can’t do anything, really, until they get an appeal done.”

Massachusetts murder convictions are automatically appealed, with second-degree murder convictions initially going to the state appeals court. First-degree convictions go directly to the Supreme Judicial Court.

Riley’s appeals attorney, Chrystal Murray of Jamaica Plain, said a hearing hasn’t been scheduled, and that the appeal will likely take months once it’s filed.

If the conviction is upheld, Riley will serve 15 years before she gets a parole hearing.

Prosecutors said Rebecca Riley died from neglect as well as an overdose of the prescription drug clonidine, which she was taking for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. A Brockton Superior Court jury agreed, finding Riley guilty Feb. 9.

She was taken from the courthouse to the medium-security women’s prison. A Department of Correction spokeswoman declined to confirm whether Riley is in the mental health unit, as Berio says.

Michael Riley is scheduled to go on trial Monday on the same charges. He’s being held without bail in the Plymouth County jail after completing an unrelated sentence in the Norfolk County jail in January.

They were arrested together in February 2007. Prosecutors asked for their cases to be separated shortly before Carolyn Riley went on trial.

Berio has visited her daughter twice. Riley also got a phone call from her husband. Carolyn and Michael got special permission from the Department of Correction to exchange letters, but they can’t share phone calls since both are behind bars.

Berio expects to be called as a defense witness for Michael Riley, as she was for Carolyn. She still believes her son-in-law is innocent, too.

“He’s still a good kid,” she said. “At this point in his life, he’s sure nothing good is going to happen. He kind of feels it’s all his fault.”

“Everyone thinks the worst about Michael because they don’t know him,” Berio said. “He was a wonderful husband and a good father.”

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Normal Michael Riley Convicted for First Degree Murder of His Daughter Rebecca

Post by NiteSpinR on Sat Mar 27, 2010 12:29 am

Mar 26, 5:54 PM EDT

BROCKTON, Mass. (AP) -- A man accused along with his wife of giving their 4-year-old daughter a lethal prescription drug overdose to keep her quiet was convicted of first-degree murder Friday.

Michael Riley, 37, was found guilty in the December 2006 death of daughter Rebecca. The jury had begun deliberating his case Thursday afternoon. He faces an automatic sentence of life in prison without parole.

His wife, Carolyn, was convicted of second-degree murder last month. Her mandatory life sentence allows for parole after 15 years.

"It's a very difficult decision. I'm going to look at it and file an appeal," defense attorney John Darrell told The Associated Press.

The Rileys were accused of giving their daughter a fatal overdose of Clonidine, which she was taking for attention-deficit hyperactivity and bipolar disorders. Defense attorneys said Rebecca died of pneumonia and blamed the overdose on lax monitoring by a psychiatrist who had prescribed the medication.

Assistant District Attorney Frank Middleton told the jurors in closing arguments that Michael Riley either gave Rebecca the extra pills himself or told his wife to do so.

"He knows it's going to shut her up, and shut her up for good," Middleton said.

Middleton said Riley was a cold-hearted father who made up symptoms of mental illness in Rebecca and his two other children so he could collect Social Security disability benefits for them. The defense said Riley was trying to take care of his family while struggling with problems of his own, including bipolar disorder.

Michael Riley repeatedly ordered his wife to increase Rebecca's dose of Clonidine, the prosecutor said, to keep her quiet and out of his way. The night she died, she was given two to three times her daily dose, Middleton said.

A state medical examiner found that Rebecca died of the combined effects of Clonidine; Depakote, an anti-seizure and mood-stabilizing drug prescribed for bipolar disorder; and two over-the-counter drugs, a cough suppressant and an antihistamine. The amount of Clonidine alone in Rebecca's system was enough to be fatal, the medical examiner said.

Defense attorney Darrell said his client had little to do with Rebecca's medication because he had been living apart from the family for months and returned about a week before she died.

Darrell blamed Rebecca's death on her psychiatrist, Dr. Kayoko Kifuji.

Kifuji diagnosed Rebecca with ADHD and bipolar disorder by the time she was 3. Darrell called Kifuji "the most irresponsible doctor you may have ever heard of in your life," said she did not adequately monitor the child and said she repeatedly increased the Clonidine dosage after Carolyn Riley had done so on her own.

A grand jury refused to indict Kifuji in Rebecca's death. In September, she was reinstated to her job as a child psychiatrist at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

The hospital said it conducted a complete review with independent experts and concluded that Kifuji's care was appropriate and was not the cause of Rebecca's death.

Still, Plymouth District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz said after the verdict that prosecutors will ask the Board of Registration to review the decision to allow Kifuji to continue to practice medicine in Massachusetts.

Prosecutors will send a package to the board - including information extrapolated during the trial and what investigators gathered as they probed the case - to support their request for the review, Cruz told the AP.

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Normal Re: Parents deliberately overdosed their daughter, Rebecca/ Carolyn Riley Found Guilty in the death of her daughter, Rebecca/ Father, Michael's trial happening NOW

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:13 pm

Kifuji voluntarily gave up her medical license when the Rileys were charged with murder in 2007.

She was investigated and cleared by a grand jury and has returned to practice at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.
I sure wouldn't take my grandchildren to her. I am in no way saying it is her fault, but if she was the one prescribing all these meds for Rebecca, that is mind boggling. Have I read this incorrectly and the meds were for Michael and his wife and they gave them to Rebecca?

Bottom line, these parents are major nut cases and this little one died for naught!!!!!

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Normal Re: Parents deliberately overdosed their daughter, Rebecca/ Carolyn Riley Found Guilty in the death of her daughter, Rebecca/ Father, Michael's trial happening NOW

Post by ltrina on Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:06 am

I am following this case on In Session and I believe that not only are the parents guilty. The Dr. and DSS should also be held accountable. In society today so much emphasis is put on treating everything with medication. In my opinion a child up until the age of about 6 has no true personality they just mimic their surroundings and their peers. So to diagnose all these children with bipolar at such a young age is malpractice on the doctors part. And DSS with all the complaints failed, how could these children be left in the home with a man who has been under investigation for sexual and physical abuse and a woman who choses the safety of her kids for a man. This is something that shoud have never happened. I so often hear about statements given to police after a tragedy has happened how "oh we knew something was wrong" Well I say use action stop gossiping and peeping through the shades If you suspect abuse of any kind do what you would want someone to do for you call for help and keep calling until something is done. I would rather be know as the nagging neighbor, or nosy family member, who saved a life than be a witness in a murder trial with the empty words I knew this would happen. Some of these drugs that are prescribed for adults have side-effects and prescriptions have to be changed. So why in the Hell would a 4 year old take meds. that she can not explain fully how they are affecting her physically. If the defense is claiming mental defect for the parents then there should have been constant monitoring of these parents and the childrens living conditons. crying An Angel in the arms of the Lord Rebecca

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Normal Re: Parents deliberately overdosed their daughter, Rebecca/ Carolyn Riley Found Guilty in the death of her daughter, Rebecca/ Father, Michael's trial happening NOW

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:17 am

WELCOME Itrina. We are very happy to have you here. Your post said a lot. I completely agree..keep calling. Don;t give up. If you suspect abuse, don't sit back and do nothing!!

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Normal Re: Parents deliberately overdosed their daughter, Rebecca/ Carolyn Riley Found Guilty in the death of her daughter, Rebecca/ Father, Michael's trial happening NOW

Post by TerryRose on Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:49 pm

Some kids don't have a chance---it seems like both adults in this case are mentally unstable. So sad. Be with God, the loving Father, Rebecca. angel
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Normal Re: Parents deliberately overdosed their daughter, Rebecca/ Carolyn Riley Found Guilty in the death of her daughter, Rebecca/ Father, Michael's trial happening NOW

Post by ltrina on Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:41 am

Still following the case, I believe that Rebecca was the normal one who didn't have a chance. The doctor who prescribed those meds used them out of their intent Depakote is FDA approved for Seizures, Zyprexa FDA approved for schizophrenia, Clonodine FDA approved for high blood pressure, so many times doctors and researchers use drug because they believe they can have an affect on different disorders, well duh!!these drugs are tested on animals and adults not children. Through research I have found Depakote is not even used for children under 10 who have seizures. Zyprexa is made for adults only and and the makers are currently involved in several suits for damages caused by not placing warnings that it can cause heart attack, diabetes ,tardive dyskinesia, pancreatitis in children, some of the side effects of clonodine, is restlessness, anxiety congestive heart failure, nausea, vomiting abdominal pain, and palpitations just to name a few, it says if these symptoms accure consult physician, wow just imagine being 2-4yrs old with all these symptoms and parents who are suppose to be parents not even speaking on your behalf when the signs are there. No excuse if they can fill out form after form for SSI they can read information that now comes with all filled prescriptions, With all thes drugs studies also shows they cause abnormal glucose levels, and are recommended that they be checked daily, never once did I hear the doctor recommend this..I am so fired up I have plenty to say today, This case is only one of many 2/08/08 New Mexico Senate passed Senate Memoral 9"Sarina's Law"after she died at the age of 12 8 weeks after being prescribed Depakote, Zyprexa, and Clonodine. Gabriel age 7 hangs himself 4/22/09 after being prescribed Zyprexa doctor is in a civil suit AstaZeneca agrees to pay $520million settlement for the use of this of the drug not FDA approved for children.Why someone please tell me why this doctor is not going down with the parents. We as adults when we feel that the doctor is not diagnosing us right because we know our bodies we get a second opinion also while watching the scene of their home I noticed a computer I got all this info on the internet. If it seems I am angry it doesn't even compare when it comes to a child that looks for protection in the arms of a parent and death is the solution. And my God the Grandmother standing behind 2 killers. Before I end I would like to say I am a parent of 1 child and I know when I first brought him home I stared at him constantly just to make sure he was breathing, and when he was sick no crib right beside me so I could watch over him. He is 23 and I would still watch over him in his time of need. Why would she lay beside a bed on the floor I know some people who let there pets sleep in there beds. I hope Carolyns bunk is as hard as the floor and by inmate code she probably is sleeping on the floor.Michael your turn next, and in my prayers I hope the doctor pays for some of this so it can make other doctors think twice about being so eager to diagnose over 1million children a year with ADHD and other mental disorders without checking family life first.

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Normal Re: Parents deliberately overdosed their daughter, Rebecca/ Carolyn Riley Found Guilty in the death of her daughter, Rebecca/ Father, Michael's trial happening NOW

Post by Guest on Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:59 am

Thank you for your post. Are we sure a Physician wrote a script for this medication? If so yes the Physician should be sued.
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Normal Re: Parents deliberately overdosed their daughter, Rebecca/ Carolyn Riley Found Guilty in the death of her daughter, Rebecca/ Father, Michael's trial happening NOW

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Sep 11, 2010 1:09 am

Bludgeoned to death is more like it!!! Along w/the 'parents'.

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Normal Re: Parents deliberately overdosed their daughter, Rebecca/ Carolyn Riley Found Guilty in the death of her daughter, Rebecca/ Father, Michael's trial happening NOW

Post by CritterFan1 on Sat Sep 11, 2010 1:33 pm

Depakote is also used to treat by polar..makes you gain a ton of weight. Zyprexa is also used as a mood stabilizer a lot, for GROWN ups!!
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Normal Re: Parents deliberately overdosed their daughter, Rebecca/ Carolyn Riley Found Guilty in the death of her daughter, Rebecca/ Father, Michael's trial happening NOW

Post by concerned4all on Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:57 am

Just found this tread. Michael Riley's trial is on Court TV right now. This is so sad. One of the teachers from her school was on just a little while ago.
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Normal Re: Parents deliberately overdosed their daughter, Rebecca/ Carolyn Riley Found Guilty in the death of her daughter, Rebecca/ Father, Michael's trial happening NOW

Post by CritterFan1 on Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:19 pm

concerned4all wrote:Just found this tread. Michael Riley's trial is on Court TV right now. This is so sad. One of the teachers from her school was on just a little while ago.
I recorded it, will try to watch it tonight. It really is sad.
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Normal Re: Parents deliberately overdosed their daughter, Rebecca/ Carolyn Riley Found Guilty in the death of her daughter, Rebecca/ Father, Michael's trial happening NOW

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:03 am

It's on again this morning. I am watching it.

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Normal Re: Parents deliberately overdosed their daughter, Rebecca/ Carolyn Riley Found Guilty in the death of her daughter, Rebecca/ Father, Michael's trial happening NOW

Post by ltrina on Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:00 pm

peace For Rebecca just say the verdict and the jury, said guilty in the first degree. Even though it won't bring her back hopefully it will open the eyes of the public when they see signs of abuse It doesn't hurt to report it could save a life. Keep me informed of any news on what might happen to the doctor in this case.

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Normal Carolyn Riley's Conviction Upheld

Post by NiteSpinR on Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:52 pm

September 20, 2013

The Massachusetts Appeals Court refused Friday to overturn the conviction of a woman found guilty of second-degree murder for overmedicating her 4-year-old daughter on powerful prescription drugs.
Carolyn Riley and her husband, Michael, were convicted in the 2006 death of their daughter, Rebecca. Michael Riley was convicted of first-degree murder.

Prosecutors said the couple concocted symptoms of mental illness in the girl in an attempt to collect disability benefits, then overmedicated her to keep her quiet and out of their way.

Defense lawyers said Rebecca died of a severe, fast-moving pneumonia, not an overdose.

Carolyn Riley’s lawyers argued in her appeal that the trial judge erroneously allowed prejudicial character evidence to be admitted and allowed a forensic toxicologist to testify for prosecutors without first holding a proper hearing.

The appeals court rejected the arguments and upheld Riley’s conviction.
The court found that evidence about Riley’s scheme to obtain psychiatric medications for her children in order to collect disability benefits “was probative of the defendant’s motive and intent for giving them unnecessary medication and for doing so regardless of the contraindications.”
The court said there was “overwhelming, properly admitted evidence of her neglectful and abusive parenting.”


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