Admitted serial rapist now will face a charge of murder

Associated Press

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — An Air Force airman who was sentenced to life in prison without parole after pleading guilty to a string of sexual assaults in Colorado now will face Philadelphia prosecutors.

Troy Graves, 30, allegedly strangled University of Pennsylvania graduate student Shannon Schieber in 1998 and sexually assaulted five women in Philadelphia between 1997 and 1999.

"We are going on the assumption that we are going to try a death penalty case," Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham said. She said she did not know when Graves would be extradited to Philadelphia, but he is expected to remain in Colorado for up to 60 days.

Public defender Kathryn Hay said Graves entered his plea in the hope that Pennsylvania authorities would not pursue the death penalty.

Choking back tears, Graves said Friday in court that he was sorry for the assaults. He pleaded guilty to kidnapping and seven other counts in a series of attacks on eight women near the Colorado State University campus last year.

"I understand it’s unlikely this single word will perform any miracle healing or anything," Graves said. "Please understand these apologies are from my heart, and let that be a beginning."

Graves, who was a senior airman at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyo., was charged April 25 in Pennsylvania. A day later, he was charged in Colorado with kidnapping, unlawful sexual conduct, burglary and robbery.

A former neighbor called Fort Collins authorities earlier this year after seeing a composite drawing of the rape suspect. Authorities later matched Graves’ fingerprints to a set found on a balcony outside the apartment of one of the victims.

District Judge Terence Gilmore said he imposed a life sentence because of the nature of the crime and the victimization and fear caused by the defendant.

Graves is still in the Air Force. Warren base spokesman Sgt. Kurt Arkenberg said officials will review his case before taking any action.

Copyright ©2002 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Top (L-R): Nate Nehring, Nicole Ng-A-Qui, Jared M. Mead. Bottom (L-R): Brenda Carrington, Sam Low, Brandy Donaghy.
3 challengers face long-shot odds in County Council races

Each race has a clear political divide. And each Snohomish County district reliably leans either red or blue.

This crash in Monroe happened early Friday morning after police discontinued a high-speed chase. Both occupants were taken to a hospital. (Monroe Police Department) 20211022
2 seriously injured in Monroe crash; DUI suspected

The driver hit a center lane divider and rolled his car. Police are investigating him for vehicular assault.

Everett Farmer’s Market canceled Sunday due to weather

Organizers cited a high-wind advisory. It is to reopen Oct. 31 for the final market of the season.

Snohomish School District students demonstrated in front of Snohomish High School Friday morning to protest sexual misconduct after a high school student said she was forcibly kissed in a hallway. (Isabella Breda / The Herald) 20211022
Snohomish High students walk out to protest sexual misconduct

Among other concerns, a 14-year-old student says she was forcibly kissed by a boy in the hallway.

Police: ‘Prolific’ Marysville thief stole from dozens of gym lockers

The suspect, 23, was arrested this week for investigation of more than 55 felonies.

Weimer, Hayden offer divergent views in Darrington school race

Their views on levies differ sharply. On a mask mandate and sex education, their differences are more nuanced.

A tree fell across power lines during a storm Sunday afternoon in the Lake Roesiger area northeast of Snohomish. (Lake Roesiger Fire)
Storm knocks out power for thousands in Snohomish County

High winds and steady rain were expected for much of the area until Monday.

Top row (L-R): Kim Daughtry, Michele Hampton, Gary Petershagen, Joyce Copley. Bottom row (L-R): Jessica Wadhams, Steve Ewing, Marcus A. Tageant, Joseph Jensen.
In growing Lake Stevens, controversy frames council races

The city is booming with development. Now four incumbents look to fend off challengers.

The Anchor Pub in downtown Everett on Saturday. The owner was arrested Friday in an investigation of alleged sexual assaults there. (Ellen Dennis / The Herald) 20211023
Owner of Everett’s Anchor Pub arrested in rape investigation

Patrons in recent years have reported they were apparently drugged and sexually assaulted, according to police.

Most Read