BOSTON (AP) – The mother charged with killing her 4-year-old daughter with an overdose of prescription drugs claims in a motion to dismiss the case that prosecutors withheld key evidence from a grand jury.
The defense lawyer for Carolyn Riley claims in the motion filed in Plymouth County Superior Court that prosecutors ignored their legal responsibility to give grand jurors a complete picture of the case.
Carolyn Riley and her husband, Michael, of Hull, are charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Rebecca Riley. They have both pleaded innocent.
Rebecca was found dead on the floor of her parents’ bedroom Dec. 13. The medical examiner determined she died of a lethal combination of prescription drugs.
Prosecutors allege the couple falsely claimed Rebecca was mentally ill so she would be prescribed drugs. Defense lawyers blame the girl’s death on her psychiatrist.
The filing includes a photograph taken by the girl’s grandmother 36 hours before she died in which she appears healthy and in good spirits. The photo refutes assertions by prosecutors that she had become physically sick from the overdose in the days before her death.
The motion also claims that two roommates of the Riley family have admitted taking some of the drugs prescribed for Rebecca. Prosecutors have said that pills missing from prescription bottles are evidence that the girl was given too many drugs.
The motion for dismissal also claims that prosecutors are biased against the Rileys because they are poor.
“Throughout these investigations, there exists an elitist undertone that these individuals, who are poor, disabled, and not well educated, are nothing but ‘poor white trash,’” attorney Michael Bourbeau wrote.
Michael Riley is expected to join in the motion for dismissal, Bourbeau said.