Murder-for-hire case declared a mistrial

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - A mistrial has been declared in the capital murder trial of Lisa Graham.

The judge suspended the trial after delaying the proceedings for more than an hour Tuesday morning. Sheriff Heath Taylor told News Leader 9 the decision is related to the judge's health.

The defendant, Graham, will remain in custody of the Russell County Jail.

Cherie Crabb couldn't hold back the tears after the abrupt announcement in court Tuesday – a trial she's waited five years for was ending because of the judge's health.

Crabb says she wants badly for her daughter, 45-year-old Lisa Graham, to have her day in court. Graham is accused of hiring a hitman to kill her daughter, 20-year-old Stephanie Shae Graham, the love of her grandmother's life.

"Shae was my heart and my soul," Crabb said. "Shae was as close to me as she was to her mother. When Shae got in trouble, it was me that Lisa would call. Momma, "they got Shae so and so, got get her or go to her house to clean the drugs out before the cops get there."

Crabb is banking on defense attorneys arguing Lisa's innocence.

"Lisa did not have anything to with it," she said.

The prosecutors are seeking to prove otherwise. They believe Lisa not only conspired with Kenny Walton, who admitted he shot Shae six times and left her body on a dirt road near Cottonton in 2007, but she also gave him the gun to commit the crime.

Walton told Russell County investigators- he gave the gun back to Lisa. The gun was found later with her step grandfather Warren Thompson.

"I was at Lisa's house almost every day," Thompson said. "I was up there that day… it was laying on the table in the and Lisa had talked about me cleaning it."

There are other twists in turns that have also surfaced in court, like the motive that suggests Lisa wanted Shae dead because Lisa's husband paid more attention to Shae than he did to her. Lisa claimed the two had sexual relations and Shae's drug problem was costing them too much money.

However, those are details we'll have to wait to hear in the retrial.

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