Archive for Thursday, February 3, 2011

Suspect in Salina slaying takes plea agreement

February 3, 2011

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— A 20-year-old Salina man who had been charged with first-degree murder in the June 13, 2009, slaying of a man in an apartment complex has pleaded no-contest to a lower charge.

Travis Graham was one of three people charged with murder in the death of Alfred Mack Jr. As part of a plea agreement, Graham on Friday pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, which carries a maximum sentence of less than three years or just more than 11 years, depending on a person's criminal history.

Graham is to be sentenced March 22. The Salina Journal reported that terms of his plea agreement are not available because the document has been sealed.

In October, Willie Parker, 29, of Salina, was found guilty of first-degree murder in Mack's death and second-degree murder for killing Justin Letourneau, 22, less than a week after Mack was killed.

A third suspect, Thomas Jenkins, 30, goes on trial March 8 on a first-degree murder charge.

Graham has repeatedly denied involvement in Mack's murder, which authorities said happened during a burglary at Mack's apartment. Prosecutors said Parker, Jenkins and Graham had burglarized the apartment above Mack's and had tried to enter several other apartments on the night of the killing.

In a Sept. 3 interview, Graham told officers he had been sitting on an acquaintance's porch at the time of Mack's murder. Graham said he was told by Letourneau — Graham's stepbrother — and others that he was going to be the lookout and that he should call Letourneau's cell phone if he saw a patrol car.

Graham told police that he told the men he didn't want to be involved and walked away. He said that after about 10 or 15 minutes, he heard a "pop" and knew that someone had been shot, according to the affidavit.

Parker was sentenced in December to 80 years in prison for Mack's death and the June 19, 2009, shooting death of Letourneau.

Investigators said Parker shot Letourneau, whom he had met while serving time in prison, after the two had an argument and Letourneau was heard discussing Mack's burglary at a party.

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