Judge revokes bond for McGraw, murder trial continues

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The murder trial of Travis Lee McGraw was supposed to begin on Monday, May 19, but after waiting for the defense’s motion to continue to be heard, McGraw left the courthouse in an ambulance.
About an hour before Superior Court Judge Tommy Davis could hear the motion to continue the trial or other motions to suppress evidence, McGraw fell and hit his head on a bookcase.
McGraw entered the courtroom in the morning limping and carrying a pillow for his back. McGraw was being evaluated by a doctor outside of the courtroom when his attorney Tony Dalton said he stood up and apparently had vertigo, fell backwards and hit his head on a bookcase. He said a clerk called 911 and McGraw was put on a backboard and transported to the hospital.
Dalton also said McGraw was just released from Park Ridge Hospital for pain at 4:57 a.m. Monday and asked the judge to continue the trial.
“(McGraw) left, your honor, in an ambulance,” Dalton said.
Lead prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Alex Bass asked the judge to revoke McGraw’s bond to have him in a controlled environment and to have him back in court on Tuesday.
Dalton objected, saying McGraw appears to be in obvious pain, naming his back disorders.
“I don’t think he’s done anything he should be punished for,” Dalton said. “He had a medical issue arise that’s put him in the hospital.”
Judge Davis revoked McGraw’s bond and ordered the sheriff to take him into custody once he is discharged from the hospital. Davis said McGraw’s medications can be monitored and assuming he’s discharged from the hospital, ordered McGraw to be back in the courtroom on Tuesday at 11 a.m. to hear the motions.
McGraw is on trial for the Feb. 19, 2011 murder of his wife, Vanessa Mintz, of Hendersonville. Mintz’ family was present at court Monday.
Dalton’s motion to continue the trial, filed last Wednesday, May 14, said that McGraw is taking numerous medications, which could impair McGraw’s ability to assist counsel. Dalton also said in the motion that he’s unsure of McGraw’s ability to understand the seriousness of the proceedings.
McGraw agreed to plead guilty in March, but on the morning of a special court session on May 21 to hear the plea, McGraw changed his mind and did not accept the plea arrangement.
McGraw is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Mintz, who was found at the Saluda Mountain Lodge, which her family owned at the time.
Dalton has said McGraw has always professed his innocence, saying one of his defenses is alibi.
McGraw was arrested four days after Mintz was found murdered at the lodge.
Judge Davis put jurors and witnesses on standby Monday, saying jurors and witnesses could be needed Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday.
McGraw was released from St. Luke’s Hospital Monday afternoon and transported by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office to the Transylvania County detention center where Polk sends inmates who need medical assistance.
A motion to continue was made by the defense today.  A decision was not available by press time.  Check tryondailybulletin.com for updates as they become available.

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