Pamela Graham, a meek shell of a woman, testified at trial that Geralyn Graham would bind the childs hands to the bed railing with plastic flex cuffs and confine Rilya in a laundry room for hours on end.
A friend of the pair told police that Graham borrowed a dog cage to put Rilya in when she misbehaved, although no could say they saw the child in there as punishment.
Acquaintances also testified that Graham gave conflicting stories about what happened to the girl to some, she claimed the girl was on a road trip with a Spanish lady friend.
But the murder charge hinged on the word of a brash and eccentric inmate, Robin Lunceford, who told detectives that Graham gave her a detailed, teary confession while in jail.
During four days of testimony, Lunceford told jurors that Graham had a festering hatred for the child, and smothered Rilya with a pillow, then buried the body near a body of water in South Miami-Dade.
Defense attorneys ripped into Luncefords credibility, especially because she got a life sentence for armed robbery reduced to 10 years in prison.
But she also knew intimate details available to only investigators, including the final straw episode in which Graham grew angry because Rilya wanted to dress as Cleopatra, not an angel, for Halloween.
Two other jailhouse inmates also testified that Graham gave damning admissions while behind bars.
Eleven of us believed them, one juror said.
After an eight-week trial that featured dozens of witnesses, jurors deliberated more than 12 hours over two days and they repeatedly sent notes to the judge to say they were deadlocked by one vote.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Marisa Tinkler Mendez declared a mistrial on the murder count.
As the verdicts were read on the other charges, jurors were visibly upset, some crying, others said with their arms folded.
The kidnapping charge is punishable by life in prison, while the two counts of aggravated child abuse carry a sentence of up to 30 years. Graham also was convicted of a lesser child abuse count for the dog cage punishment.
The State Attorneys Office now must decide whether to re-try Graham on the murder charge, although prosecutors could decide against it if she receives a lengthy sentence on the other charges.
Any time you prosecute a no-body case, its an uphill battle, said retired Miami-Dade Detective Greg Smith, who testified in the case.
But Geralyn Graham is the epitome of evil. What she put that child through was unconscionable, and she should never allowed to walk free again.