New­ton County mur­derer de­nied pa­role

Gra­ham serv­ing life sen­tence for 1993 mur­der

The Covington News - - Crime & Courts -

AT­LANTA — The State Board of Par­dons and Paroles re­cently de­nied pa­role for Ray­mond La­mar Gra­ham, 43. In 1994, Gra­ham was con­victed of mur­der­ing Bertha Ware, 78. He re­ceived a life sen­tence. This was the sec­ond time the Pa­role Board de­nied Gra­ham pa­role, who was last re­viewed in 2000.

On Jan­uary 7, 1993, shortly af­ter 3 p.m., Cov­ing­ton po­lice of­fi­cers re­sponded to 2111 Cony­ers Street in Cov­ing­ton to in­ves­ti­gate an open door at Ware’s res­i­dence. Upon ar­rival, po­lice of­fi­cers dis­cov­ered Ware’s body in the bed­room of the res­i­dence, ly­ing half way on the bed. She had been raped and stran­gled. Sev­eral ob­jects were de­ter­mined to be miss­ing from the res­i­dence in­clud­ing a television, a hand­bag and jew­elry. Gra­ham was iden­ti­fied as a sus­pect af­ter sev­eral in­di­vid­u­als said Gra­ham at­tempted to sell them a television and sev­eral rings. Two of the rings and the television were lo­cated and linked back to Gra­ham.

Pa­role Board Chair­man Gar­land R. Hunt said, “The Pa­role Board de­nounces all crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity and vi­o­lence, but this type of rep­re­hen­si­ble vic­tim­iza­tion, of the most vul­ner­a­ble of our so­ci­ety, re­quires se­vere puni­tive mea­sures. Pa­role is de­nied.”

“The na­ture of his crime is what’s keep­ing him in there,” said Scheree Lip­scomb, di­rec­tor of pub­lic af­fairs for the Pa­role Board. “(The vic­tim) was in no way able to fight him back.” Ac­cord­ing to Lip­scomb, Gra­ham hadn’t re­ceived a dis­ci­plinary re­port since 1999. Ge­or­gia statute re­quires that all in­mates serv­ing life sen­tences be con­sid­ered for pa­role at spec­i­fied in­ter­vals. Ap­prox­i­mately 50 per­cent of the 6,000 in­mates serv­ing life sen­tences in Ge­or­gia’s prison sys­tem have been re­viewed by the Pa­role Board and de­nied pa­role at least one time.

Gra­ham is serv­ing his sen­tence at Han­cock State Prison in Sparta. He is up for re­view again in 2016.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the Pa­role Board, go to www.pap. state.ga.us.

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