Society

Woman Admits To Toddler's Murder, Avoids Death Penalty

| by Brendan Kelly
Tarika WilsonTarika Wilson

A Shreveport, Louisiana, caregiver has avoided the death penalty by pleading guilty to the murder of a 3-year-old girl who was in her care.

Tarika Wilson, 36, reportedly tortured 3-year-old Rizcheir "Riri" Muskelly with an extension cord so severely in June 2013 that the toddler died, the Shreveport Times reports. 

In court on April 14, Wilson pleaded guilty to first-degree murder of the toddler and waived her right to an appeal, and, in exchange, prosecutors agreed to not seek the death penalty. Instead, Wilson will spend the rest of her life in prison without parole.

Riri was in the care of Wilson at the time of her death, as were her two sisters. Wilson was reportedly a former friend of the children's mother, Debbie Muskelly, who was in jail at the time.

Popular Video

A police officer saw a young black couple drive by and pulled them over. What he did next left them stunned:

Popular Video

A police officer saw a young black couple drive by and pulled them over. What he did next left them stunned:

An autopsy showed that the toddler's cause of death was blunt force trauma, according to KSLA. 

When Riri arrived at the hospital in 2013, her body was covered in wounds from the extension cord lashings, the Shreveport Times reports. An investigator testified in court that roughly 75 percent of the toddler's body was covered in injuries at the time of her death.

"The only places I didn't see wounds were the bottoms of her feet," the investigator added, according to the Shreveport Times.

The victim's mother, Debbie Muskelly had mixed feelings about Wilson's sentence.

"I was kind of upset because I really wanted her to get the death penalty, but she's going to have to think about my baby for the rest of her life," Debbie said.

"I just want to know why," the mother added. "But I have to hear it from Tarika."

Debbie said she had to leave the courtroom during sentencing because she was too angry to even look at Wilson.

Sources: Shreveport TimesKSLA / Photo Credit: CPSO via Shreveport Times

Do you think Wilson should have been able to avoid the death penalty?
Yes - 0%
Yes - 0%