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January 11, 2013

‘It’s all lies’: Ex-inmate talks about confession in Rilya case

Robin Lunceford, the state’s star witness in the Rilya Wilson murder case, admitted to lying about hearing a key confession while in prison, an ex-inmate testified Thursday.

Robin Lunceford, the state’s star witness in the Rilya Wilson murder case, admitted to lying about hearing a key confession while in prison, an ex-inmate testified Thursday.

“You know it’s all lies. All of it,” Cindy McCloud, testifying for the defense, recalled Lunceford telling her.

Lunceford is the colorful, sharp-tongued felon who claims that Geralyn Graham confessed to her in jail that she smothered foster child Rilya Wilson, burying the body near a canal or lake in South Miami-Dade.

Graham, 66, is on trial for the murder of 4-year-old Rilya, a foster child whose disappearance rocked the Florida Department of Children and Families. Rilya’s body has never been found.

Graham was indicted for murder after Lunceford came forward to authorities in 2005.

Lunceford, who got a life-prison term for armed robbery reduced to 10 years for her cooperation, told jurors her story over four days of testimony.

The platinum-blonde McCloud was Lunceford’s former roommate at Lowell Correctional Institution in Ocala.

Convicted of possessing methamphetamines, McCloud was released from prison in June after serving four years. With 27 felonies on her rap sheet, she now lives in Lakeland.

The defense called McCloud on Thursday to chip away at Lunceford’s credibility.

McCloud characterized Lunceford as frequently bragging about her cooperation with the state.

She claimed she witnessed Lunceford and another inmate, Maggie Carr, concocted a scheme to get Carr involved in the case as a snitch. Last week, Carr testified that Graham suggested to her that she disposed of the little girl’s body.

Carr is serving 25 years to life in prison for murder. She is eligible for parole but has no deal with prosecutors. A third inmate also testified that Graham confessed to killing the child.

As for McCloud, she insisted that she did not want to testify, although she admitted she reached out to defense attorneys, not prosecutors to expose Lunceford.

“I’d hate to be on trial and convicted because of someone else’s lies,” McCloud said.

Prosecutor Joshua Weintraub has called McCloud, 41, a “spurned lover.”

“You’re here because Robin Lunceford got you and some friends arrested in state prison, isn’t that correct?” Weintraub barked “That’s why you’re here — to get even with Robin.”

McCloud denied being Lunceford’s lover.

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