Marion County mother appeals murder conviction

Violet Ray convicted of killing her 2-year-old daughter in 2008


MARION COUNTY, Fla. – Lawyers for a Marion County woman told an appeals court on Tuesday morning that she should not have been convicted of murdering her 2-year-old daughter.

Violet Ray said her daughter, Faith, fell off a chair or table back in 2008, causing a head injury that prosecution experts said was caused by abuse.

Judges did not appear to be swayed by the appeal seeking to throw out the jury verdict.

"The ER doctor believed this was a case of child abuse and I'm not here saying that, it's not up to us to determine who to believe, it becomes a jury question," said Judge Wendy Berger of the District Court of Appeal.

But a jury convicted her and Ray was sentenced to life in prison.

Ray's attorneys argued the jury was misinformed by state experts and investigators, who were falsely told that Faith showed signs of sexual abuse. The Department of Children and Families had never previously confirmed any abuse of faith or the other five children the Rays adopted over three and a half years.

The court usually takes several weeks to rule and if Ray loses her appeal, her attorney said other challenges will follow.