Lisa Graham is on Alabama death row for the murder of her daughter. Now unlike the other women on death row in Alabama Graham daughter was much older, like twenty years old. According to court documents Graham just could not get along with her daughter and instead of cutting all ties with her decided to hire someone to murder her. Graham would hire Kenneth Walton to do the deed. Walton would shoot the victim five times causing her death. Needless to say these two could not keep their stories straight and they were soon arrested and Carpenter Graham would be sentenced to death
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|Inmate:||GRAHAM, LISA CARPENTER|
|Institution:||TUTWILER DEATH ROW|
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Convicted of capital murder for persuading a family friend to gun her daughter down on a remote dirt road in Russell County on July 5, 2007, Lisa Leanne Graham today was sentenced to the death penalty.
After a jury convicted her March 5, Judge Jacob Walker III initially set a sentencing date of May 1, but then postponed it so Graham could have a psychological evaluation. Walker noted then that Lisa had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and was taking medications prescribed for schizophrenia.
Wednesday’s sentencing is not the end of the story, as Lisa is expected to appeal, a process that will add new chapters to what even veterans of the criminal justice system found to be a sordid and surreal story of a mother whose jealousy and disdain for her daughter led to a cold-blooded murder on an isolated Russell County road.
Lisa Graham was accused of persuading longtime family worker Kenneth Walton to kill daughter Stephanie Shea Graham, who went by Shea. Walton said the mother met him at the Columbus Public Library that day and loaned him her pistol for the job.
He caught up with Shea at a Victory Drive gas station, where she left her car with friends and rode off in Walton’s pickup truck. He took her on a long, night drive down Alabama Highway 165 before pulling off on Bowden Road so they could relieve themselves.
When she got out to squat beside the truck’s open passenger door, he pulled out the pistol and shot her in the head from the driver’s seat, then got out, walked around the truck and shot her again and again.
He left her half-nude body where it lay, and drove away. Asked in court how his deadly betrayal of a young woman who trusted him made him feel that night, he replied, “I felt normal.”
Because witnesses saw Shea leave the gas station with Walton, investigators focused on him immediately. He confessed, and told them of the mother’s involvement, particularly of the pistol he had returned to her the next day.
Graham further incriminated herself when authorities came looking for the gun. She had given it to an elderly neighbor she knew as “Papa” to clean, but told sheriff’s investigators she didn’t know where it was, and allowed them futilely to search her house before her husband told them “Papa” might have it.
Finding ample evidence of her involvement in the homicide, they charged her with murder. Russell County District Attorney Ken Davis said the circumstances warranted the death penalty.
But five years passed before the case finally came to trial — the first time.
Walton pleaded guilty June 14, 2012, and was sentenced to life in prison. Lisa Graham’s trial was set for the following fall. But after jury selection and some initial testimony, Circuit Judge George Greene abruptly declared a mistrial on Sept. 25, 2012, saying he could no longer preside because of his failing health.
When prosecutors pursued a second trial, Lisa Graham’s defense team appealed, claiming Greene could have continued the trial, and to try Graham again would constitute double-jeopardy. During testimony in that appeal, witnesses said Greene had multiple health issues, and had been falling asleep in court, even snoring.
Greene retired in December 2013, and died Jan. 1, 2014.
After the Alabama Court of Appeals rejected the defense’s double-jeopardy arguments on Oct. 17, 2013, Graham’s attorneys appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court. It turned them down on Aug. 8, 2014.
Meanwhile other Russell County judges recused themselves from presiding at Graham’s next trial. Walker, a Lee County Circuit Court judge, was appointed to fill in.
Jury selection in the second trial began Feb. 17, with witness testimony starting the following week.
That testimony showed Graham repeatedly had remarked to witnesses that Shea was ruining her life, and she would kill her daughter if she could. The daughter was facing aggravated assault charges related to a drive-by shooting in Columbus, and Lisa Graham feared she would flee town and leave her parents responsible for her $100,000 bond.
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Lisa Carpenter Graham is currently incarcerated at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women the home of death row for women in Alabama
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Lisa Carpenter Graham was sentenced to death for arranging the murder of her adult daughter
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An Alabama appeals court has upheld the conviction and death sentence of Lisa Leanne Graham, the Phenix City woman found guilty of hiring a family friend to kill her own daughter.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall announced the court’s decision in a news release Friday.
Graham, 51, was convicted of murder in Russell County Circuit Court in March 2015. The evidence showed she arranged for Kenneth Walton, who worked for the family’s construction business, to kill her daughter Stephanie “Shea” Graham, 20.
Authorities said the mother feared Shea Graham would skip out on a $100,000 bond that Lisa Graham had secured for her release from jail on charges stemming from a drive-by shooting in Columbus.
Walton testified the mother met him at the Columbus Public Library on the evening of July 7, 2007, and loaned him her 9-millimeter pistol for the job.
Walton later caught up with the daughter at a Victory Drive gas station, where she left the friends she’d been out with that night and rode off in Walton’s pickup truck. Claiming he would help her find a car in which she could leave town, he took her on a long drive down Alabama Highway 165 before pulling off on Bowden Road so they could relieve themselves.
When she got out to squat beside the truck’s open passenger door, he pulled out the pistol and shot her in the head from the driver’s seat. Then he got out, walked around the truck and shot her again and again.
He left her half-nude, bullet-riddled body where it lay, and drove away. Asked in court how his betraying the young woman made him feel, he replied, “I felt normal.”
Because witnesses saw Shea Graham leave the gas station with Walton, investigators focused on him immediately. He confessed, and told them of the mother’s involvement.
Walton pleaded guilty June 14, 2012, and was sentenced to life in prison.
Other witnesses testifying during Lisa Graham’s 2015 trial said the mother repeatedly had remarked that Shea Graham was ruining her life, and she would kill her daughter if she could.
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