September 26, 2012 in City

Graham admits to stabbing woman in May

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Avondre C. Graham admitted to Spokane police detectives he stabbed Sharlotte McGill to death in May.

Graham, 17, is being held in Spokane County Jail for second-degree murder, and is also charged with attacking two other women in the same area where McGill was killed.

He told detectives he assaulted the women because “I want them to feel the pain I feel.”

He said he was upset because his uncle was pronounced brain dead in the hospital and his death was imminent the day he attacked McGill.

He also told police he stabbed McGill because she called him a racial slur and made a comment about the music he was listening to, according to a probable cause affidavit filed today in Spokane County Superior Court.

He told police that in the early morning of May 3, he was on the trail by the river near his apartment complex on the 1800 block of E. South Riverton Avenue, sitting on a rock listening to music, when McGill, who was walking her dog, passed him on the trail.

After McGill insulted him, Graham claimed, the two exchanged words before McGill continued down the path. Graham caught up with McGill and threw a baseball-sized rock at the back of her head, causing her to fall to her knees, he told detectives.

He then took a folding knife from his pocket and stabbed her repeatedly, he told police. After the attack, Graham walked directly to his apartment, where he lived with his mother, Stephanie Miramontes, his siblings, and his mother’s boyfriend.

Evidence collected from McGill was submitted to the Washington State Crime Lab for DNA analysis. The DNA profile of Graham and several other potential suspects were compared to a partial profile obtained from a hair found on McGill’s clothing and from under her fingernails, but they were not a match.

While detectives determined he was not a contributor to the DNA taken from McGill, he was not eliminated as a suspect in the case because hairs are easily transferable and McGill had extensive contact with medical staff and witnesses that had come to her aid, according to the affidavit.

After Graham was arrested Sept. 13 for assaulting a woman with a mallet on the Centennial Trail near Mission Park, detectives again questioned him about McGill’s death because of the close proximity of the two attacks and because Graham matched the description McGill gave of her attacker before she died. Police say that’s when he admitted to killing her.

When initially questioned after McGill was killed, Graham said he had never left the apartment. Graham’s mother and uncle supported his alibi, according to detectives.

Police say Graham was accurate in recalling the wording of McGill’s screams for help, and that his account was the same as witnesses in the area. He provided detectives with a hand-drawn diagram of the crime scene and described her dog and her clothing.

Graham is also charged with attempted first-degree assault and first-degree robbery for a Sept. 13 attack near Mission Park, and with third-degree assault for allegedly punching a female Gonzaga University student Aug. 29.

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