A violent gang member was convicted by a Johnston County Jury last week and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
James Robert Graham was convicted of conspiring to discharge a firearm into an occupied home and for being a violent habitual felon.
On September 16, 2017, multiple rounds were fired from a gun into a home on Whitley Road, Middlesex, in northern Johnston County while the occupants were sleeping. Johnston County deputies determined Anthony Lewis, an ex-boyfriend of a woman in the home, was incarcerated with James Robert Graham at Warren Correctional Institute in Manson, NC. Lewis asked Graham to shoot the house on Whitley Road. Graham then asked a fellow gang member, Keith Parks, to shoot the house. Graham was a validated member of the Rollin 60’s Crips gang.
Lewis and Parks previously pled guilty and are serving active prison sentences.
After the jury unanimously found Graham guilty of felony conspiracy, the Johnston County District Attorney’s Office introduced proof of Graham’s status as a violent habitual felon, a person who commits a violent felony after being previously convicted of two violent felonies. Graham was convicted in 2004 of robbery with a dangerous weapon in Mecklenburg County and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury in Alexander County in 2008. Under North Carolina law, life without parole is the mandatory sentence for violent habitual felons.
Superior Court Judge Keith Gregory presided over the trial, and the State was represented by Assistant District Attorneys Keith Gordon and Paul Jackson.
Assistant District Attorney Gordon said he was pleased with the outcome and thanked the jury for its service and careful consideration of the evidence. “We are grateful that justice was served in this case, Gordon said. “We thank members of the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Public Safety for their expert investigation and outstanding security during the trial. The District Attorney’s Office is committed to fighting gang violence and keeping our community safe.”