Jimmy McMillan Murder: Corey Graham Jr. Sentenced to Life, Plus 15 years
Corey Graham Jr. learned his fate from a Palm Beach County circuit judge after being found guilty of shooting and killing Belle Glade grocery shore owner Jimmy McMillan in January 2012:
Life in prison, plus 15 years.
A jury convicted the former Glades Central High School offensive lineman last month.
McMillan, as a New Times feature story on the murder reported, was a popular bass fisherman whose family had owned the grocery store for years.
Graham Jr. was arrested after the then-19-year-old walked into McMillan's grocery store and shot him on January 2, 2012, in a robbery attempt.
During the sentencing on Tuesday, Graham Jr. was escorted into court under heavy security. He; his father, Corey Sr.; and McMillan's sister, Connie Deaton, had gotten into a shouting match during the trial.
Deaton had reportedly told Graham Jr. to rot in hell, which prompted Corey Sr. to verbally retaliate.
During Tuesday's hearing, the Graham family asked the McMillans to forgive Corey Jr. for taking Jimmy's life.
Dennis Deaton, Jimmy's brother-in-law, read a prepared statement thanking police investigators and the prosecution for their work.
The Palm Beach Post reports that at least 15 armed Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputies were in the courtroom to make sure things didn't get out of control again.
In June of 2012, New Times posted a transcript of Corey Jr. confessing to the murder to his father at the Palm Beach sheriff's office.
In the confession, Corey told his father he had shot McMillan because he needed money. According to the New Times feature story, Corey had been on the right path whenever he stayed with his father in Riviera Beach. But things would go south for the Glades Central High School standout when he'd stay with his mother in Pahokee and Belle Glade.
Dad: "You got to talk to me, Corey. I can't protect you... You got to tell me the truth. They got the video. They got the picture of your hand. Who shot him?"
Son: "I had."
Dad: "You shot him?"
Son nods head.
Son: "I ain't really -- he reached for the gun."
Dad: "Why did you do this, Corey?"
No audible response.
Dad: "Why you do this, man?"
Son: "I needed money."
Dad: "I don't know what to do, Corey. My heart. I don't know what to do, son. I ain't gonna see you no more my whole life. Now, that gonna kill me. You know they're gonna -- they're gonna hurt my heart."
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