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Thread: Lisa Carpenter Graham - Alabama Death Row

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    Lisa Carpenter Graham - Alabama Death Row






    Mom allegedly hires hitman to kill daughter, goes to trial this week

    A Russell County mother accused of hiring a hitman to kill her daughter, more than 5 years ago, is expected to go to trial this week.

    Stephanie Shea Graham was killed in July 2007. Her body was found by an Eufaula truck driver off Highway 165. Investigators believed at the time her mother, Lisa Graham, wanted her dead.

    A co-defendant in the case, Kenneth Walton, is accused of shooting Stephanie and dumping her body. District Attorney Ken Davis said Walton confessed to police about how he and Graham plotted the murder.

    Lisa Graham was charged with capital murder-for-hire. If convicted she faces the death penalty.

    Jury selection started Monday and is expected to last through Thursday.

    http://www.wtvm.com/story/19576331/2...rial-this-week
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    Jury selection underway in murder for hire case

    News Leader 9 received an update Wednesday afternoon in the case of a woman accused of hiring a hit man to kill her daughter.

    Jury selection is still underway in Lisa Graham's trial.

    Her daughter, Stephanie Graham, was shot six times and then dumped on highway 165 near Bowden Road back in 2007.

    We're told jury selection is taking longer because it's a death penalty case, which means a pool of 60 potential jurors are being questioned individually.

    Jury selection is expected to end Thursday, with opening statements beginning Friday.

    http://www.wtvm.com/story/19588287/j...-for-hire-case
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    What State is this located in?

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    Phenix City, Alabama.
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    Witness, investigators take the stand in murder-for-hire case

    Friday was the first day in the trial of a Russell County woman accused of having a hand in the death of her own daughter.

    Lisa Graham is accused of hiring a man to kill Stephanie Shea Graham, her own flesh and blood, on the evening of July 5th, 2007.

    News Leader 9 heard from police investigators and the truck driver who first found the body on Bowden Road on his way to work. The truck driver was a former Eufaula police officer. Even though it was late that night, the witness was able to spot the body on the side of the road through the darkness.

    Prosecution had the floor all afternoon as they attempted to establish a timeline of events by asking witnesses to describe everything that occurred.

    Sheriff's deputies described how the body was found with gunshot wounds to both the head and chest and showed graphic pictures to the jury.

    Lisa Graham's family sat directly behind her and while they did not speak to news media, it appeared through their brief exchanges with the defendant that they support her and they are on her side.

    Police say Stephanie's parents were visibly distraught when they were informed of their daughter's death. But the prosecution believes her mother already knew.

    http://phenixcity.wtvm.com/news/news...rder-hire-case
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    Mistrial declared in murder-for-hire case due to judges health

    A mistrial was declared in the capital murder trial of Lisa Graham. The judge suspended the trial after delaying the proceedings for more than an hour Tuesday morning. Sheriff Heath Taylor told News Leader 9 the decision is related to the judge's health.

    The defendant, Graham, will remain in custody of the Russell County Jail.

    Cherie Crabb couldn't hold back the tears after the abrupt announcement in court Tuesday a trial she's waited five years for was ending because of the judge's health.

    Crabb said she wants badly for her daughter, 45-year-old Lisa Graham, to have her day in court. Graham is accused of hiring a hitman to kill her daughter, 20-year-old Stephanie Shae Graham, the love of her grandmother's life.

    "Shae was my heart and my soul," Crabb said. "Shae was as close to me as she was to her mother. When Shae got in trouble, it was me that Lisa would call. 'Momma, they got Shae so and so, got get her or go to her house to clean the drugs out before the cops get there."

    Crabb is banking on defense attorneys arguing Lisa's innocence.

    "Lisa did not have anything to with it," Crabb said.

    The prosecutors are seeking to prove otherwise. They believe Lisa not only conspired with Kenny Walton, who admitted he shot Shae six times and left her body on a dirt road near Cottonton in 2007, but she also gave him the gun to commit the crime.

    Walton told Russell County investigators- he gave the gun back to Lisa. The gun was found later with her step grandfather Warren Thompson.

    "I was at Lisa's house almost every day," Thompson said. "I was up there that day it was laying on the table in the office...me and Lisa had talked about me cleaning it."

    There are other twists in turns that have also surfaced in court, like the motive that suggests Lisa wanted Shae dead because Lisa's husband paid more attention to Shae than he did to her. Lisa claimed the two had sexual relations and Shae's drug problem was costing them too much money.

    However, those are details we'll have to wait to hear in the retrial.

    http://phenixcity.wtvm.com/news/news...-judges-health
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    Graham murder-for-hire retrial likely delayed again

    An attorney for Lisa L. Graham, the Ladonia, Ala., woman facing two counts of capital murder in the death of her daughter, filed papers in Russell County Circuit Court on Tuesday seeking a delay in her upcoming retrial scheduled for Monday.

    In a motion, Auburn attorney Margaret Y. Brown said she in the process of filing a writ of mandamus to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals to question double jeopardy and whether Graham should be retried. A trial started Sept. 17, 2012, but a mistrial abruptly was declared Sept. 25 after Judge George Greene fell ill.

    Browns motion comes less than two weeks after a July 3 hearing in Russell County Circuit Court, where Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob A. Walker III ruled the mistrial was necessary due to Greenes health. A motion to dismiss based on double jeopardy was denied in a July 13 order.

    Walker wrote that Greene was dealing with a substantial medical ailment that was affecting his ability to preside over the trial and had the potential to cause more errors if the trial had continued. The defense was clearly protecting the rights of Graham by asking that reasons surrounding the mistrial be investigated.

    However, it appears that the mistrial was not declared to protect the interests of any one individual; it was declared out of a need to protect the rights or all parties, including the immediate health concerns of Judge Greene, and to promote the substantial ends of public justice, Walker wrote in his order.

    Buster Landreau, chief deputy district attorney for Russell County, said he thinks the latest motion was filed so that jurors would not be summoned unnecessarily.

    My guess would be that the case is going to be continued because she is filing a writ of mandamus in the higher court, Landreau said. Such a writ normally carries an automatic stay with it. I would anticipate that she is going to file that sometime this week.

    Brown announced her intentions during the hearing that she would seek an order from the higher court with the writ. Walker has said the court would be instructed not to send out questionnaires for jurors if a writ is filed.

    Grahams defense team of Brown and Robert G. Poole thought the trial would be a delayed. It was the understanding of the defense that the case would be continued pending review of the courts order by petition for writ of mandamus to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, the motion states. The defendant is in the process of preparing the petition for filing, and expects to file on or before Monday, July 22, 2013.

    Graham, 45, has been free on bond since January after spending more than five years in prison. She was accused in July 2007 in the murder-for-hire death of her daughter, Shea Graham, whose body was found with multiple gunshots off a rural road off Alabama Highway 165.

    Kenneth Walton, an employee in the family business, pleaded guilty in June 2012 to capital murder in shooting Shea Graham. Brown noted in her motion that the case was previously set for trial twice, but was delayed by the state. Graham has never filed for a delay, the defense attorney wrote.

    Court papers show that the jury empaneled Sept. 21, 2012, was not sworn in on one capital murder count. In a motion for dismissal, the defense acknowledges that the trial only started on one capital murder counts.

    http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2013/...#storylink=cpy
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    January 3, 2014

    Murder-for-hire case: Lisa Graham's estranged husband wants her bond revoked


    By BEN WRIGHT
    The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

    The estranged husband of Lisa Graham is going to Russell County Circuit Court to try and revoke the bond of the woman facing a capital trial in the murder-for-fire shooting of her daughter.

    In a request filed Thursday, Kevin S. Graham is asking Judge Jacob A. Walker III and the district attorney to revoke the bond of Lisa Graham because he is now the lone survivor of joint property used to post her bond. A bond hearing is set for 3:30 p.m. Jan. 16 at the Russell County Judicial Building.

    Kevin Graham and Warren Thompson were joint owners of property on Westside Court in Phenix City when Lisa Graham was released from Russell County Jail on Jan. 3, 2013, on a $250,000 bond. The 46-year-old woman had been jailed since July 2007 when she was accused of hiring Kenneth Walton, a family worker, to kill her 20-year-old daughter, Stephanie Shea Graham.

    Kevin Graham was left the sole owner of the property when Thompson died Dec. 15. "This property was used to post bond for Lisa Graham," he said in a statement to the court. "I want no part of her bond and I want my name and property released from the bond."

    Under the terms of her bond, Lisa Graham is unable to leave Russell County. She must submit to random drug testing, live at her mother's home in Ladonia and submit to an ankle-monitoring bracelet.

    The husband also claims that she is violating the terms of her bond because she is no longer living with a relative due to Thompson's death. She has two computers and a cellphone, he said.

    Margaret Y. Brown, Graham's defense attorney from Auburn, Ala., said Friday that she is aware of the hearing. "The judge has been having periodic bond reviews and that's all that hearing is," she said.

    Russell County District Attorney Ken Davis was unavailable for comment.

    Lisa Graham's case has been appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court on whether giving her a new trial constitutes double jeopardy.

    Judge George Greene abruptly declared a mistrial on Sept. 25, 2012, because of failing health. Walker denied a motion from defense attorneys to dismiss the case based on double jeopardy.

    The double jeopardy claim also was denied by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals in October, prompting a ruling from the Alabama Supreme Court.

    Greene, 63, retired in early December as a Russell County Circuit Court judge. He died a month later on New Year's Day after battling a series of medical issues for years.

    http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2014/...#storylink=cpy

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    Lisa Graham likely going to trial next year for murder-for-hire case

    The woman accused of hiring a hit man in 2007 to kill her daughter likely will face trial in 2015 after the Alabama Supreme Court denied her latest appeal last Friday, according to Russell County Assistant District Attorney Jamie Graham III.

    Stephanie Shea Graham was found dead July 5, 2007, on Bowden Road, between U.S. 431 and Alabama 165 near Pittsview, Ala. Her mother, Lisa Graham, appealed to the state's highest court Oct. 17 after the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals denied Graham's claim that to try her again for her daughter's homicide would constitute double jeopardy.

    The Alabama Supreme Court's ruling came 10 months after the appeal in just one sentence: "The petition for writ of mandamus in this cause is denied."

    After years of delay, Lisa Graham's murder trial finally began in September 2012, but Judge George Greene declared a mistrial on Sept. 25, 2012, saying he no longer could preside because of his poor health. He retired from the bench December 2013 and died Jan. 1.

    Lisa Graham's attorneys argued Greene could have carried on, but the judge felt compelled by Chief Circuit Judge Al Johnson to cut the proceedings short. If Greene did not on his own decide his ailments required a mistrial, that raises doubt that discontinuing the trial was by law a "manifest necessity," with no alternative. If a mistrial wasn't necessary, then retrying Graham would constitute double jeopardy, prohibited by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and by the Alabama constitution, the defense contended.

    Lee County Judge Jacob A. Walker III is now the presiding judge for the case. ADA Jamie Graham said Tuesday he's filed a motion for a scheduling conference to take place. Jamie Graham believes the trial will last about three weeks. Asked when he believes the trial will be scheduled, he said he'd "be very surprised if it happened this year."

    "We have to figure out a schedule with all of the attorneys and a good time for Judge Walker to be here," Jamie Graham said. Lisa Graham is being represented by Margaret Young Brown, of Auburn, Ala.

    Jailed five years while awaiting a trial repeatedly delayed, Graham today is free on bond.

    She is accused of hiring Kenneth Walton to kill her 20-year-old daughter, whom Walton shot six times in the head and torso before leaving the body on Bowden Road.

    Investigators said Walton confessed to the homicide, acting it out for them. He told them he killed the daughter at the behest of her mother, who promised to support him if he complied.

    Officers said Lisa Graham was frustrated by her daughter's drug use and feared Shea Graham would jump bail on charges she faced in a drive-by shooting in Columbus. She was due in court the morning her body was found.

    Walton pleaded guilty June 14, 2012, and was sentenced to life in prison, with possible parole. He has agreed to testify against Lisa Graham.

    http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2014/...#storylink=cpy
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    Lisa Graham capital murder case still on schedule for Feb. 17

    After years of delays and appeals, the Russell County capital murder case against Lisa Graham finally is headed to trial.

    During a 10-minute hearing Tuesday on the 2007 homicide case, attorneys reviewed and accepted excuses prospective jurors sent in to avoid serving in the trial set for Feb. 17.

    "Almost all of them appear to be for sound medical reasons," District Attorney Ken Davis said of jurors' reasons for not serving.

    Graham's lead defense attorney, Margaret Young Brown, also raised no objection to the excuses.

    That cleared the way to send the remaining jury pool questionnaires to gauge which potential jurors would be disqualified for reasons such as having some personal connection to the case, which could create a prejudice toward one side or the other.

    Davis said a capital case typically needs a total jury pool of about 100 from which to choose 12 plus alternates to serve during the trial.

    Judge Jacob Walker III set a second pretrial hearing for 2:30 p.m. Feb. 11.

    Graham is accused of hiring a family worker to kill her 20-year-old daughter Stephanie Shea Graham, who was found shot to death July 5, 2007, on Bowden Road, between U.S. 431 and Alabama 165 near Pittsview.

    Her body had six bullet wounds to the head and torso, authorities said.

    The last person seen with the victim was Kenneth Walton, who told authorities Graham's mother enlisted him to kill her daughter. Investigators said Walton confessed to the homicide, even acting it out for them.

    Authorities allege Lisa Graham had a motive to want her daughter dead: She was frustrated by her daughter's drug use, and feared Shea Graham would jump bail on charges she faced in a drive-by shooting in Columbus. She was due in court the morning her body was found.

    After pleading guilty June 14, 2012, Walton was sentenced to life in prison with possible parole. He has agreed to testify against Lisa Graham, prosecutors said.

    Lisa Graham's first trial was underway when county Circuit Judge George Greene declared a mistrial Sept. 25, 2012, because of his poor health. Greene retired from the bench in December 2013 and died in Jan. 1, 2014.

    After the mistrial, Graham's attorneys appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court, arguing that to try Graham again would be double jeopardy, prohibited by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and by the Alabama constitution.

    The defense claimed Greene could have finished the trial, but felt compelled by Chief Circuit Judge Al Johnson to cut the proceedings short.

    If Greene did not on his own decide his ailments required a mistrial, that raised doubts that discontinuing the trial was by law a "manifest necessity," with no alternative. If a mistrial wasn't necessary, then retrying Graham would be double jeopardy, the defense contended.

    The court denied the appeal, clearing the way for a new trial.

    Graham spent more than five years in jail before she was granted bond after the mistrial. Released on $250,000 bond in Jan. 3, 2013, she was free nearly 20 months before sheriff's deputies investigating a domestic dispute saw she was not wearing a required ankle monitor.

    As a result, her bond was revoked Sept. 24. She's now being held without bond in the Russell County jail, and wore a jail uniform during Tuesday's hearing.

    http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2015/...#storylink=cpy
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

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