Defense attorney blame psychiatrist Kayoko Kifuji in toddler's drug death
March 25, 2010
The defense attorney for the father of 4-year-old Rebecca Riley told jurors today that the only person responsible for the girl's death is her child psychiatrist, Dr. Kayoko Kifuji.
Michael Riley's attorney, John Darrell, said what would have saved the life of Rebecca is "if Dr. Kifuji had stayed in Japan."
Darrell this morning completed his one-hour closing argument in the trial of Rebecca's father, who is accused of first-degree murder for killing Rebecca with an overdose of psychotropic medication, which he and his wife had nicknamed "happy medicine."
Prosecutors will begin their closing argument later this morning.
The girl's mother, Carolyn Riley, was convicted last month of second-degree murder in the death of Rebecca.
The parents have been tried separately in Plymouth Superior Court in Brockton. In both of their cases, the parents have alleged that they simply followed the medical instructions of the girl's psychiatrist, Dr. Kifuji.
When Rebecca died on Dec. 13, 2006, she and her two older siblings, then 11 and 6, had all been diagnosed with bipolar and hyperactivity disorders and put on three potent psychiatric drugs by Dr. Kifuji of Tufts Medical Center in Boston.
Jurors are expected to begin deliberating this afternoon.
Source: Patricia Wen, "Defense blame psychiatrist in little girl's drug death," Boston Globe, March 25, 2010.
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