Capital murder suspect in VB court

Jamiel Graves appeared in Virginia Beach court April 9, 2014. (WAVY News)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Jamiel Graves was sentenced Monday to life in prison, convicted of killing a Norfolk mother. Police also charged Graves with capital murder in the death of his girlfriend.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney has not decided if it will seek the death penalty against Graves for the strangulation death of 29-year-old Mandi Myers in November of 2012. Defense attorneys, however, are proceeding as if it is a capital case.

WAVY News’ Ava Hurdle reported Graves appeared expressionless Wednesday as he was escorted into the courtroom in Virginia Beach. His attorneys asked for and received a separate judge to hear its motions for expert witnesses on a confidential basis before the case heads to trial.

The trial, set for July, has been continued to allow the defense to talk to 20 mental health experts who interacted with Graves over the years. His attorney pointed out Graves was diagnosed with PTSD after military service in Iraq, where he witnessed the killing of several people during a roadside bombing.

The defense wants one of its mental health experts to have access to Graves in jail for a “meaningful evaluation,” and plans to meet with the Sheriff to try and get that done.

Prosecutors expect to decide in two weeks if they’ll seek the death penalty against Graves.

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