Witness Says Tampa Murder Suspect Asked to Watch Child Victim

TAMPA -- Jurors in the Granville Ritchie murder trial heard from the family friend who prosecutors say left the nine year old victim with the murder suspect.

Eboni Wiley testified Monday that she was going out to buy marijuana at her grandfather's house... and that she wasn't worried about leaving Felecia Williams... affectionately known as Sugarplum... in Ritchie's care. Wiley had just met Ritchie days before.

"How he made me feel comfortable on the first night that I met him, and how he made me feel when we went to pick up Sugarplum... he had that concern like a father figure," Wiley said on the witness stand.

Wiley had planned to take Felecia with her when she went out to buy the drugs. But Ritchie persuaded her against it, pointing out that she was driving without a license.

Ritchie is accused of abducting, raping and strangling the child, and leaving her body stuffed in a suitcase off the Courtney Campbell Causeway in 2014. Prosecutors are asking for the death penalty if convicted.

Photo Credit: Hillsborough Sheriff's Office

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