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USAF content with civilian prosecution of Graves

USAF content with civilian prosecution of Graves

Associated Press

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Troy Graves, a former senior airman serving a life sentence without parole for murder and a dozen rapes, will not face military charges, F.E. Warren Air Force Base officials said Friday.

"After reviewing all charges prosecuted in civilian courts we determined there were no known additional matters to pursue by military court-martial," said Lt. Col. Ursula Moul, staff judge advocate for the base.

Under Air Force policy, a member prosecuted in civilian court will not be tried by the military for the same offense, she said.

Graves, who maintained intercontinental nuclear missiles, was arrested April 23 by Fort Collins, Colo., police.

On May 17, he pleaded guilty to assaults last year on seven women in Fort Collins and received a life sentence without parole.

He pleaded guilty May 30 in Philadelphia to the 1998 murder of University of Pennsylvania graduate student Shannon Schieber, 23, and attacks on five other women from 1997 to 1999.

Graves, 30, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder and given six consecutive 10- to 20-year terms for the rapes.

In exchange for his guilty pleas, Pennsylvania prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty and let him serve his time in Colorado.

DNA evidence linked the Philadelphia rapist to the one in Colorado, but police could not identify a suspect.

Earlier this year, a former neighbor alerted authorities to Graves after seeing a composite drawing of the Fort Collins rape suspect.

During an April interview, police took Graves' fingerprints and matched them to a set found on a balcony outside the apartment of one of the victims. That evidence, along with inconsistent statements to investigators, prompted his arrest.

Col. Thomas Shearer, 90th Space Wing commander at F.E. Warren, said the case is "terribly disturbing."

"Our deepest sympathies go out to the victims of these crimes," he said. "We pride ourselves in an Air Force made up of Americans from all communities of our great nation who perform at the highest level of public service. However, there are people that don't measure up or meet Air Force standards.

"This was one of those cases, in the most extreme sense."

Graves, who grew up in the Philadelphia area, joined the military Oct. 13, 1999, completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, then attended missile systems maintenance school at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

He was assigned to the 90th Logistics Group at Warren on April 11, 2000. One month after he arrived, he was accused of illegally entering the dormitory room of a female airman and received a letter of reprimand.

The first attacks in Fort Collins occurred in May 2001.

Staff Sgt. Kurt Arkenberg, a Warren spokesman, said Graves' pay and benefits were suspended the day of his arrest. He was discharged from the military June 3.

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


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