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Miranda Wilkerson's Grandmother before Baker County Judge Today on Contempt Charges

10:05 PM, Aug 10, 2011   |    comments
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BAKER COUNTY, Fla. -- There's a new twist in the battle over Miranda Wilkerson.

The child's grandmother, Rita Manning, appeared before Baker County Judge Phyllis Rosier this afternoon on a contempt of court charge.

According to postings on the "Protect Miranda Wilkerson" Facebook page, the hearing was at 1 p.m. and Manning could go to jail.

PICTURES: At Home with Donald Coleman and Miranda

The Facebook messages note that Manning is in trouble because she spoke to the media about her granddaughter.

After the hearing, it was unclear what had happened to Manning. She said that she was not allowed to talk to the media about the proceeding. Manning was protesting this evening in front of the courthouse after the hearing.

Last week, Manning told First Coast News the judge ordered everyone involved in the adoption of the 4-year-old to not speak out.  She said the warning was issued a day after her granddaughter's story aired on First Coast News.

Manning said last week she was willing to speak with the media again and take the risk because she felt she had to, for the sake of her grandchild. 

The child is currently living with a registered sex offender, Donald Coleman. Coleman got custody of Miranda last month and also spoke out after the judge issued the warning.

Today, First Coast News was not allowed into the courthouse at first, then was allowed in without a camera. Reporters were not allowed into the courtroom.

Coleman was given custody of Miranda last month. He is considered her legal father, but is not her biological father.

Florida law states that Coleman is the child's legal father because he was married to Miranda's mom at the time of her birth. Miranda's mom was killed one month after Miranda was born. 

Last week, Miranda's biological dad, James Wilkerson, filed a petition to establish his rights as the child's father.

According to Wilkerson's attorney, Tom Gurrola, Coleman then filed a motion to terminate Wilkerson's rights. Manning also filed an appeal on the ruling with the 1st District Court of Appeal.

No hearings have been set on the recent motions.

First Coast News

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