SPOKANE, WASH. - Police believe they may have in custody the man responsible for randomly murdering an innocent woman who was simply walking her dog back in May. He's identified as 17-year-old Avondre Graham. As of right now Graham is only charged with assault and robbery following his attack on woman with a mallet on the Centennial Trail. It is possible that murder charges could follow if police determine for certain that he was involved in the Sharlotte McGill murder.
A city maintenance worker witnessed the crime and followed Graham. Graham then jumped in the Spokane River trying to get away from police but eventually he was arrested on the shore. In their questioning of him police also determined they believe he is responsible for another crime on a trail, but this one is much more serious and it goes back to late Spring. A little after 8 a.m. on Thursday, May 3rd, Sharlotte McGill was randomly attacked while walking her dog on Tuffy's Trail.
Tuffy's Trail is right next to McGill's apartment, just off the 1800 block of E. South Riverton. At the time, McGill screamed for help and made her way up the street where a nearby construction worker heard her cries, rushed over, administered as much first aid as he could and called 9-1-1. Medics arrived moments later and transported the victim to an emergency trauma center where she died of her injuries.
McGill's dog was unharmed in the incident. Immediately after the emergency call, Spokane Police brought in additional resources to the area, including more officers and a canine unit in an attempt to locate the suspect.
But their initial search didn't work out so that started an investigation that lasted a little more than four months. Because the incident happened so fast, McGill was only able to give a small description of her killer. She said he was "African-American" and she said that he had a bad eye. That's all police had to go on. McGill had a daughter who she lived with at the Riverpark Apartments, next to the crime scene.
After her mother was fatally wounded her daughter Billie McKinney wrote on her Facebook page: "This is Billie McKinney I want to thank everyone for their support, my mother deeply loved you all in her special way. Thank you everyone for all the fun she had with you, and please just be good to everyone, love with all your heart, and remember her with a smile. much love."
KHQ remains committed to staying on top of this story and we will bring you the very latest on the newsbreaks at 10, 12 and 2 as well as tonight on KHQ Local News at 5 and 6.
OFFICIAL UPDATED PRESS RELEASE FROM THE SPOKANE POLICE DEPT: At 4:40pm yesterday Spokane Police Department received a 911 call that a man had jumped in the Spokane River after attacking a woman near the Centennial Trail by Mission Park.
Officers responded within minutes and located the victim, who had obvious injuries to her face and head. She told officers a man came up and began assaulting her with some kind of weapon, took her cell phone and the jumped into the Spokane River. A witness who observed the attack called 911 and followed the suspect, updating police as to his location.
Ofc. Chris Bode and several other officers quickly responded to the river area described by the witness and located the suspect along the east side of the river in bushes, near 1200 N. Madelia.
The suspect, a 17 year old black male, was booked into Juvenile Detention for 1st Degree Robbery and 2nd Degree Assault. SPD Major Crimes Detectives continue to investigate this incident and its connection to the Sharlotte McGill murder.
The suspect matches the description provided by McGill of her killer and detectives believe there may be a connection between this assault and the homicide.
Police believe there are additional witnesses to the McGill homicide and are encouraging them to come forward with information. There is a reward being offered for any information leading to the arrest of the suspect in the McGill homicide. Citizens are urged to call Crimestoppers with any information.
SPOKANE, Wash. – A woman was attacked while jogging on the Centennial Trail, specifically near Witter Pool, Thursday afternoon.
According to Spokane Police, a teenager attacked a woman with some sort of mallet while she was on the trail.
She then yelled out for help and an area maintenance man chased the teenager in to and across the Spokane River.
He was taken into custody on the other side of the river near the area of Mission and South Riverton.
That woman is being taken to the hospital to be checked out. It is unclear right now what charges the teenager will face.