A Manassas woman who allegedly asked two people to kill her boyfriend was indicted by a Prince William County grand jury this week on charges of criminal solicitation to commit murder.
Sarah Elizabeth Graves, 18, told Manassas police that she wanted her boyfriend "out of her life" after they had relationship problems, and that she asked two close friends with criminal histories to "take care of it," according to records in Prince William County Circuit Court.
But Graves went to police after reconciling with her boyfriend, telling detectives that she believed her friends might go through with the slaying and that she was powerless to stop it.
According to court records, Graves turned herself in to police Aug. 29, four days before her two friends were allegedly going to attack her boyfriend at his Manassas home. Neither of Graves's friends has been charged with a crime in connection with the incident because the boyfriend was never assaulted. According to her attorney, Graves is still dating the same boyfriend.
Graves told Manassas police detectives that she asked a 21-year-old friend to attack her boyfriend because he had "sort of blown her off" after Graves had gotten an abortion and he did not appear to want to work things out. Graves told police that she did not directly ask her friends to kill her boyfriend but that she might have implied it, according to a transcript of her interview with detectives.
"In the slightest possible way, I kind of did want [him] to die because I was so hurt," Graves told police. "I can try to stop it myself, but I don't know if I'm going to be able to do it. And that's why I came to the police.
"I think [they're] going to go to the house and kill him."
Graves's attorney, Donald Daugherty, said that he expects the charge to be reduced before the case goes to trial because of his client's cooperation with police. Daugherty said Graves simply spoke with her friends and later realized that her boyfriend might have been in danger.
"She was under a tremendous amount of pressure and she had a discussion with someone," Daugherty said yesterday. "As a result of that discussion, she became fearful that the target of their discussion would be hurt. She went to police. She's a good person."
Graves, a first-year student at Northern Virginia Community College and a waitress at a local restaurant, later told police that she was under the influence of drugs at the time she asked her friends to attack her boyfriend. She said several times that she regretted setting the plan in motion.
Police reported that Graves appeared "very disturbed and emotionally upset" during her interviews, at times shaking while recounting the story.
"The suspect stated that she was so strung out on drugs that she did not know what she was doing," Detective Carl Barnes wrote in an investigative report for police. "The suspect said that she had taken some cocaine, acid and marijuana before she called [her friends]. The suspect stated during the second interview that she did want the victim to be killed but felt very badly the next day [and] that is why she came to the police."
Graves remains free on $2,500 bond. If convicted of criminal solicitation, a felony, she could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.