Details how babysitter who fatally beat toddler, 3, avoided death penalty

Tarika Wilson
Tarika Wilson mugshot

Tarika Wilson, 36, admitted to killing Rizcheir “Riri” Muskelly, 3. In 2013, the innocent toddler was in her care along with her siblings while her mom was incarcerated for violating her parole. Wilson tortured Riri and beat with her an extension cord. According to authorities, the only part of her body left untouched was the bottom of her feet.

On June 17, 2013 when she was admitted to University Health, 75 percent of the toddler’s small body was covered in wounds, old and new, from repeat extension cord lashings, according to a Shreveport crime scene investigator. According to doctors, fatal blows caused Riri’s blood to pool under her skin, effectively causing the child to bleed to death inside her own body.

Rizcheir Muskelly
Rizcheir “Riri”Muskelly

While she bullied this innocent child, the cowardly batterer got in court on Thursday, April 14, 2016 and took a plea deal to avoid the death penalty. She plead guilty to first degree murder.

“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,” the victim’s mother Debbie Muskelly said following the plea. “I just want to know why. But I have to hear it from Tarika.

Dressed in a standard CCC orange jumpsuit, and wearing thick-rimmed glasses with her hair pulled into two braids, Wilson made her plea. She will be housed at Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women in St. Gabriel. On behalf of Muskelly, facilitators can arrange a meeting with Wilson, so she can offer the grieving family answers for her behavior.

Muskelly plans to leave Shreveport this fall. Riri’s sisters, Queenie and Hallelujah, who were also living with Wilson at the time of the murder are already gone.

“They’re affected every day, but they know she’s not coming back,” Muskelly said of Riri before one final thought on Wilson, “And neither is [Tarika]. She got what she deserved. She didn’t get what I want, but now that’s between her and God.”

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