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Remorseful airman admits murder, rapes

Remorseful airman admits murder, rapes

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PHILADELPHIA - With tears running down his face, rapist Troy Graves apologized to his victims and the family of a strangled graduate student, vowing to do good as he spends the rest of his life behind bars and to assist FBI profilers seeking to understand why he attacked women in Philadelphia and Colorado.

In exchange for his guilty plea to Shannon Schieber's murder and five other attacks in Philadelphia, Graves was sentenced to life in prison plus 60 to 120 years - time to be served after his life sentence for a series of attacks in Colorado.

Graves, 30, an Air Force enlisted man, was arrested April 23 in Colorado. He will be returned there to serve his sentence.

"I wish I could offer more than an apology today," Graves told Judge Benjamin Lerner. "I'm hoping my future actions will reflect my sincerity. I have cooperated with authorities fully and hopefully in the future will talk to profilers, which hopefully will help future investigations and maybe myself."

On Tuesday, in a prelude to Thursday morning's pleas, Graves waived a preliminary hearing. Earlier this month, Graves was sentenced to life in prison in Colorado for a series of sexual assaults there.

Graves' DNA matches evidence from Schieber's apartment and the scenes of the other Philadelphia sexual attacks, police said.

By waiving the preliminary hearing, Graves spared the rape victims the ordeal of presenting evidence against him.

Graves was arrested in Fort Collins, Colo., on April 22 after police there matched his fingerprints to those found at the scene of one of the attacks in Colorado.

A former resident of Center City, Graves enlisted in the Air Force after his last alleged Philadelphia-area rape in August 1999.

The Colorado attacks started shortly after Graves was stationed at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyo., just across the state line from Fort Collins.

Copyright © 2002 Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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