Couple On Trial In Daughter’s Death Accused Of Milking Disability Benefits
In a set of trials starting this week, Massachusetts prosecutors are expected to allege that a couple seeking to take advantage of the federal disability benefits system ultimately killed their daughter by giving her a series of psychiatric drugs.
Carolyn and Michael Riley are facing first-degree murder charges in the 2006 death of their daughter Rebecca, 4. The girl allegedly overdosed on a cocktail of psychiatric drugs she was prescribed for bipolar and hyperactivity disorders.
At the time of her death, Rebecca was the only member of her five-person family who was not collecting disability benefits from the federal government. Applications for Rebecca were twice denied by the Social Security Administration.
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Prosecutors allege that the Rileys viewed Rebecca as another source of disability income and that they ignored warning signs that the girl was over medicated. Just days before her death, Rebecca’s father Michael reportedly became angry when the girl vomited during a visit to a local Social Security office.
Ahead of the trials, a judge who reviewed testimony already determined that there is sufficient evidence that it was in the Rileys financial interest to get their children diagnosed with a variety of mental health conditions.
It is unclear how much Rebecca’s psychiatrist may have known about her parents’ motives, but he is expected to testify in the upcoming trials, reports the Boston Globe. To read more click here.