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Miranda Wilkerson's Grandmother Says She's Willing to Risk Going to Jail Because She 'Has To'

9:29 PM, Aug 5, 2011   |    comments
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BAKER COUNTY, Fla. -- It's been more than three weeks since a Baker County Judge ordered Miranda Wilkerson be turned over to a registered sex offender.

Since that time, Miranda's grandmother, Rita Manning, has kept quiet.  She says the judge presiding over the case warned her to not talk about it or she would send her to jail.

The warning came one day after First Coast News aired an interview with Manning about the judge's decision.

"It's been over three weeks. She's been over there too long. It's time for her to come home," Manning said on Friday afternoon.

Manning said she knows the risk she is taking.  She says it's a risk she has to take.

"I'm willing to risk it, yeah. What more can be done?  They took the only thing," Manning said as she started to cry.

When asked if she was ready to go to jail.  Manning answered, "If that's what it takes to get her home."

Judge Phyllis Rosier placed Miranda with her legal father, Donald Coleman, a registered sex offender, because he was married to Miranda's mom when Miranda was born.

Miranda's mom died in a car accident one month after Miranda's birth.  "He didn't want Miranda, he didn't ask for Miranda, but now he wants her. Why? That's what goes through my mind," said Manning.

Coleman is not Miranda's biological dad.  Her real dad, James Larkey Wilkerson, just filed a motion in court this week to establish his parental rights.

Coleman's attorney later filed a motion for those rights to be terminated.

Wilkerson's case has also been assigned to Judge Rosier.  "We need a new judge for Larkey the bio-father." said Manning.

She's made signs about it and plans to now protest the Baker County Courthouse with those signs.

Manning said her mission right now is to do what she has to do to get Miranda back home with her.

She's already getting Miranda's room ready.  Her new school clothes are hanging in the closet just waiting to be worn.

Manning said she will do what she has to do to get her granddaughter back, including speaking out.  "I'm scared to a point but I'm beyond fear. I'm beyond fear of the consequences that I may have to suffer."

Manning said she has been contacted by national media for interviews.  She plans to do those next week.



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