Hitman murder case postponed

BY ALAN RIQUELMYariquelmy@ledger-enquirer.com

The capital murder case against a mother hiring a hitman to kill her daughter has been postponed until September.

Russell County District Court Judge Eric Funderburk continued at a hearing today the case against Lisa Leane Graham, 39, of Phenix City, and Kenneth Rognet Walton, 36, of Columbus. Both are charged with the murder of Graham's 20-year-old daughter, Stephanie Shea Graham, who was found dead July 6 on the side of Bowden Road.

Defense attorneys James McKoon, representing Graham, and Joel Collins, representing Walker, said they didn't have enough evidence from the district attorney to proceed with a preliminary hearing today. District Attorney Kenneth Davis said he wouldn't withhold any evidence from the attorneys, though he hasn't received some pieces such as officer reports.

"The rush to a preliminary hearing is not a rush as far as my client is concerned," Collins said.

Preliminary hearings are held to determine if enough evidence exists to send a case to a grand jury. Grand juries have the power to indict and send a case to a trial. Davis said a preliminary hearing would probably occur in September.

See Saturday's Ledger-Enquirer for more on this story.