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Avondre Graham to be charged with murder

Thu., Sept. 20, 2012, 12:57 p.m.

Spokane police say Avondre C. Graham is responsible for the brutal slaying of Sharlotte McGill back in May.

Major crimes detectives are requesting the prosecutor’s office charge Graham with second-degree murder, police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe announced today.

Graham is already in the Spokane County Jail on charges of first-degree robbery and first-degree assault for allegedly attacking a woman walking along the Centennial Trail near Mission Park with a mallet and stealing her phone last week.

Graham was arrested for the Sept. 13 attack after a witness heard the bloodied victim’s screams for help and chased down Graham, who was apprehended on the other side of the river.

Major crimes detectives believe they can link Graham to at least one other assault along the Centennial Trail. In that case, a Gonzaga University student was attacked Aug. 29.

Graham was interviewed within days of the incident and has remained a person of interest along with a number of others, DeRuwe said. It was not until the most recent attack that detectives developed enough evidence to link Graham with the McGill case.

McGill was stabbed repeatedly May 3 while on a morning walk with her dog on a trail along the Spokane River. Since then, detectives have interviewed many potential witnesses and suspects.

Detectives indicated Thursday there could be additional arrests. While they believe Graham acted alone in the homicide, detectives say some people they interviewed lied to them or withheld information.

Police declined to go into more detail about what connected Graham to the McGill slaying or whether there was forensic evidence linking him, but said the random and violent nature of the attacks were similar and that Graham matched the description McGill gave police as she lay dying of multiple stab wounds.

Graham lived in the same apartment complex that McGill did on 1800 E. South Riverton Ave.

Graham, whose family and friends packed a small courtroom Monday for the mallet assault, is being charged as an adult. Superior Court Judge Annette Plese set his bond at $250,000.

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