Man who pleaded guilty to killing teens appeals his sentence
Tuesday marked the three-year anniversary since two Anchorage teenagers were struck and killed by a drunk driver. Brooke McPheters and Jordyn Durr, both 15, were walking home from a back-to-school shopping trip when they were struck on the sidewalk near 88th Avenue and Abbott Road.
On Tuesday evening, friends marched to a memorial that sits at the intersection, something they’ve done every year since the girls’ deaths.
Their families are still seeking closure from the legal system. Stacy Graham, who admitted to killing the girls, is appealing the length of his sentence.
In February 2015, Graham agreed to plead guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in exchange for a lower sentencing range. The judge gave Graham the higher end of the sentence he’d agreed to — 32 years in prison, with time suspended.
Within the month, Graham had appealed his sentence, leaving the families to wonder why.
“He is backing out of his deal,” said Colleen Libbey, an attorney for the McPheters family. “He was sentenced in the range that he agreed to before he pled guilty to second-degree murder. And for whatever reason he has decided to appeal that sentence.”
The families are also frustrated because they say Graham isn’t cooperating in a civil suit that includes his former employer, Puget Sound Pipe and Supply. Graham told the judge he was drinking at a golf tournament sponsored by the company before he got behind the wheel. Now he’s refusing to testify in the case.
“He actually said, ‘I work for them now,’ and he was talking about the families,” Libbey said. “And the defendant made statements about how much he wanted to do to help the families and that’s just not happening.”
Libbey has asked the court to compel Graham to testify in the civil trial, which is scheduled to start in May. She said it could be months, even years before any decision is made on his sentence appeal.
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