McGraw rejects last minute plea deal

Published 1:48 pm Wednesday, May 21, 2014


During pretrial motions on Wednesday, May 21, murder suspect Travis McGraw rejected another plea deal in the murder of his wife, Vanessa Mintz.

Motions to suppress evidence were denied Wednesday morning by Superior Court Judge Tommy Davis with McGraw attempting to delay the trial again, which was also denied.

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Wednesday’s motion to delay the trial was asked by defense attorney Tony Dalton who said it recently occurred to McGraw that he was taking the sleep aid Ambien the night of his wife’s murder, a drug that could cause an amnesia effect.

The pretrial motions that were denied were attempts to suppress evidence, including tool-mark evidence and testimony from a state forensic examiner who is scheduled to testify that the spent shotgun shell found at the murder scene came from a shotgun found in McGraw’s home.

Attorneys were scheduled to begin jury selection Wednesday afternoon, with more than 100 potential jurors summoned. The attorneys will each be allowed to select eight jurors with the jury being made up of 12, not including alternates.

Mintz was found at the Saluda Mountain Lodge, which her family owned at the time, on the morning of Feb. 19, 2011. McGraw was arrested four days later and charged with first-degree murder. He was released on bond in May 2013 but has spent this week in custody.  Judge Davis revoked his bond after McGraw fell and hit his head on a bookshelf at the courthouse Monday and had to be taken to St. Luke’s Hospital for treatment.

On Tuesday, Davis denied a motion to continue the case and ruled McGraw is competent to stand trial.