Alleged "Murder for Hire" Trial Postponed - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Russell County

Alleged "Murder for Hire" Trial Postponed

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

RUSSELL COUNTY, AL (WTVM) -  It is a case that shocked many when it originally made headlines in 2007- a mother accused of having her daughter murdered.

On Wednesday, that mother, Lisa Graham, was back in Russell County court.

Her case was supposed to be heard by a jury the week of September 14th. Three hundred jurors had already been subpoenaed. But she was there for a motion hearing.

Both her defense lawyers and the District Attorney went before Circuit Court Judge George Green to see if the case would be continued.

It's a delay that was requested by the state. District Attorney Kenneth Davis wants statements made by codefendant Kenneth Walton admissible in Lisa Graham's trial.

38-year-old Walton is accused of shooting Graham's daughter Stephanie and dumping her body along a county highway.

The District Attorney says Walton made confessions to police after he was in custody about how he and Graham had plotted the murder, both over the phone and at the Columbus Public Library.

His six hour statement is still being transcribed word for word. Davis says he thought Walton was being tried first, in which case he didn't think he'd need the transcription.

On the other side, the judge says Graham's attorneys didn't follow proper procedure in jury selection.

Considering that and the fact that the DA's office was still working on evidence, he granted the motion for continuance. He said neither side seems ready for trial.

Graham's parents who are also the victim's grandparents wouldn't speak on camera after the proceedings but tell News Leader 9 they are disappointed with the delay and are anxiously waiting for closure.

Lisa Graham's case is now scheduled to go to trial on March 1, 2010. Part of that is due to the renovations that are scheduled at the Russell County Judicial Center.

A hearing on whether or not Walton's statements can be used in Graham's trial will take place in February.

In court, there was also talk of plea bargains-whether Lisa Graham or Kenneth Walton had been offered a deal to testify against the other.

Both the District Attorney and the defense made it clear that no plea bargains have been offered at this point.

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