Sentencing delayed in the Lisa Graham murder-for-hire-case

Sentencing delayed in murder-for-hire-case

RUSSELL COUNTY, AL (WTVM) – The sentencing has been delayed for the Russell County woman convicted in the murder-for-hire death of her daughter.

Judge Walker ordered a compete mental evaluation and IQ test by a psychiatrist and medical doctor before he makes his decision. Lisa Graham is on several medications for a number of  conditions including schizophrenia.

On March 5, 12 jurors polled, 10 recommended the death penalty after a week of testimonies.

Graham was convicted of hiring a family friend to shoot and kill her own daughter Stephanie "Shae" Graham, because she was ruining her life. Her daughter was 20-years-old at the time of her death in July 2007.

It only took the jury about an hour to recommend the death penalty. Graham's mother asked the judge to spare her daughter's life for the sake of her 17-year-old son saying, he would lose his mother if she's put to death.

Sheriff Heath Taylor was the primary investigator on the case in 2007, and is standing up for Shae.

"We feel sorry for the family at the same time, but Shae deserves justice," Taylor said.

Kenny Walton, the man hired to kill Shae confessed to the murder and is serving life in prison. The gun used was given to him by Lisa Graham.

This case is the second for Graham. The first case in 2012 ended in a mistrial after the judge became ill during the case. Judge Jacob Walker is presiding over this case and is not bound by the jury's recommendation.

Judge Jacob Walker is presiding over this case and is not bound by the jury's recommendation. Graham's attorneys could appeal the judge's decision. The appeal would be heard by the Alabama Supreme Court.

Lisa Graham's son also took the stand on Thursday and asked the judge not to sentence his mother to the death penalty. Instead, he would rather her be sentenced to life in prison, so that he can still have her around. The first sentencing hearing was scheduled for May 1 but was also rescheduled.

No date had been set on the next sentencing hearing.

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