A man who mistakenly killed his Newark girlfriend in October will spend at least 15 years in prison.
Dimitrias Graves, 27, was sentenced yesterday in Toledo to 15 years to life by Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Stacy Cook after pleading guilty to murder on May 29. In exchange, three counts of felonious assault, one count of improperly discharging a firearm into a habitat and five gun specifications were dropped.
He admitted to killing Mariah Wells, 22, on Oct. 23 in Toledo after getting upset.
He had recently moved from Toledo to Newark to be with Wells after they had dated for about six months, said Wells’ mother, Maria White. On that October morning, they drove back to Toledo together after Graves was told his brother had been missing for two days.
They stopped at Graves’ mother’s home, where a small crowd had gathered.
Graves’ attorney, Donald Cameron, said Graves became upset with three women at the house. “It had to do with the fact that his brother Dewayne’s voicemail message had been changed somehow,” Cameron said. “I think it made Dimitrias suspicious that they knew more than they were saying.”
Graves, who Cameron said had been drinking, tried to get the three women to leave his mother’s house. An argument started, and Graves went back into the house, emerging moments later with a gun.
“He said something like, ‘If you’re not going to leave, I’ve got something to make you leave,'" White said. “I don’t think he knew Mariah was outside.”
Prosecutors said Graves fired seven shots. One bullet pierced both of Wells’ lungs, said the Lucas County coroner’s office. She died in the street.
Graves apologized to Wells’ family in the courtroom.
“I know he feels her loss,” Cameron said.
White said her daughter was a medical technician at Licking Memorial Hospital in Newark and hoped to go to nursing school. She had a son, Tyree, who is now being raised by White.
Graves’ brother has not been found.
By Eric Lyttle - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)
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