NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – The Oklahoma woman charged in the death of her three-year-old granddaughter appeared in a Cleveland County District Court Wednesday for a hearing to determine her options to represent herself against first degree murder charges in the death of her granddaughter.
On June 21, Oklahoma City police responded to a home in the 600 block of S.W. 151st for a trouble call.
When officers arrived at the scene, they made contact with a man who said he found his 3-year-old granddaughter inside a trash can in the backyard of the home.
According to the probable cause affidavit, officers looked inside the trash can and found the dead body of a young child.
The child’s grandfather told detectives that 60-year-old Becky Ann Vreeland told him that an accident had occurred and she found 3-year-old Riley Nolan in the trash can.
Vreeland claimed that she found Riley on June 18 but didn’t call police or report her death to anyone.
Vreeland was later arrested on complaints of child neglect and first-degree murder.
In July, Vreeland requested to represent herself in court proceedings.
In August, the accused woman allegedly sent a handwritten letter and proposal to KFOR asking for money and materials in exchange for an exclusive interview about her story.
The handwritten letter was dated August 5th and told of her “desperate need” for defense materials and money to prepare for that defense.
In exchange, Vreeland offered exclusive access to her entire story “without reservation”; KFOR declined the request.
KFOR cameras weren’t allowed in the courtroom for Wednesday’s hearing and in a reversal, Becky Vreeland asked for a court appointed attorney to represent her, saying it was in her “best interest”.
“It is her right to decide if she wants to hire an attorney or have one appointed to her or if she wants to represent herself,” said Alexis White, representing the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office.
“[The District Attorney’s Office] is still going to do our job, to seek justice for the victime, Riley Nolan. We’re going to ensure a fair trial,” she added.
As she was led out in handcuffs following the hearing, Vreeland maintained her innocence.
“She died peacefully, and I didn’t do it,” she said.
“I’d like an interview with the news to get my story out there, but I’m not allowed to.”
According to the District Attorney’s Office, they do not have the authority to determine if Vreeland can speak to the media.
They said once she is assigned a court-appointed attorney, it will be up to Vreeland and her lawyer to decide on any interviews.