Police help murdered child's mother cope ahead of trial

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Every day for the last five years, Felecia Demerson has awakened feeling something in her life is missing.

"My sugarplum," she said. That's the nickname she gave her nine-year-old daughter, Felecia Williams.

The little girl was raped and killed, prosecutors say, by Granville Ritchie.

Now, five years later, Ritchie's murder trial is about to start and Felecia says she's ready.

"My thing is to get justice for her and be her voice and be her face. This is not just going to go away and I'm going to be at every court date as long as I have breath in my body," said Demerson.

During the trial, the graphic details of how the nine-year-old was killed are expected to be revealed. Sources say Ritchie strangled Felecia to death and beat her body, post mortem.

It is a lot for Felecia's mother to stomach, but she says investigators with the Temple Terrace Police Department, which is the lead agency on the case, have helped her cope with the ugly details.

In fact, she says the police chief often visits her daughter's gravesite.

"I see the flowers he puts out there and the card that he leaves letting me know they care," said Demerson.

Ritchie, if convicted, faces the death penalty. Felecia says it’s the punishment he deserves.

"I want to see him pay the ultimate justice for crimes he did toward my nine-year-old," said Demerson. 

Ritchie’s trial is set for July.