VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A man convicted of killing his neighbor in Norfolk has been sentenced to a another life term for the death of the mother of his children in Virginia Beach.
Jamiel Graves was sentenced to life in prison without parole Tuesday on the capital murder charge against him in the death of Mandi Myers. Myers was strangled to death in November 2012.
In the courtroom, Graves showed remorse as he took the stand and apologized to Myers’ family, his family and the attorney’s involved in the case.
“With all my soul, I’m sorry,” Graves said.
Myer’s relatives cried as Graves faced courtroom spectators and said she didn’t deserve the way he took her life. Police say her body was left in a closet in her Virginia Beach home.
“I knew I needed help, but I fueled it with drugs and alcohol,” Graves said. “I take full responsibility.”
Graves’ mental health issues played a role in his plea agreement, sparing him the death penalty: “He had received treatment since being a young child up to today, and that was a significant factor in our determination to reach a plea agreement life in the penitentiary as opposed to seeking the death penalty,” Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney Colin Stolle said.
But the plea agreement makes closure that much more difficult for Myers family.
“The family is very upset,” Stolle said. “They are completely devastated by the loss of Mandi and the fact that the case is resolved will hopefully help them to be able to move on if they’re able to.”
In April, Graves also pleaded guilty to capital murder in the death of Phylicia Robinson, whose body was found inside Graves’ closet in Norfolk in 2012. Macie Pridgen with the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office said Graves’ parents found Robinson’s decomposing body in his closet when they learned of his arrest in Myers’ death. Robinson’s body had been there since early October.
Graves confessed to both murders.