Michael Todd Hill convicted of the murder of Keonna Tavangela Graham
North Carolina man Michael Todd Hill lived his dream in the summer of 2017 when he won a $10 million lottery prize playing a scratch card at a gas station. Now he has been sentenced to life imprisonment for murder.
The former nuclear plant employee opted for a smaller upfront payment years ago and received more than $4 million in running money after taxes. Hill expressed plans to pay bills and invest in his wife’s instructional design business.
However, more than four years later, the 54-year-old was convicted of the murder of his much younger girlfriend Keonna Tavangela Graham24, in a hotel room and left her dead for housekeepers to find on July 20, 2020.
According to WECT, a jury on Friday found Hill guilty of first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a criminal. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for murder and to between 22 and 36 months in prison for a firearms charge.
Authorities said Hill shot Graham in the back of the head while she was in bed at the SureStay Hotel in Shallotte, North Carolina. Surveillance footage showed the lottery winner was the only person in the room with her, officials said.
At the time of the incident, a hotel manager said Hill was the one who checked in and, according to WECT, none of the employees saw Graham. Housekeeping found the body after Hill failed to check out.
Graham’s mother also reported her missing after failing to show up for work on July 19, 2020.
“She was loved very much and she is very beautiful,” a family friend said Tiffany Wilson said by Keonna in 2020.
Hill went from millionaire to accused murderer and told the court at the time he couldn’t afford a lawyer. The clerk who sold him the winning lottery ticket allegedly said he gave her $2,000 as a thank you. Staff said he was a nice guy.
However, according to WECT, the autopsy report found the couple had a history of domestic issues. Hill confessed to Graham’s murder and said he discovered at the hotel that she was texting other men. Graham and Hill dated for more than a year and a half after he won the lottery.
[Booking photo via Brunswick County Detention Center]
Do you have a tip we should know? [email protected]
https://lawandcrime.com/crime/54-year-old-man-who-once-won-10m-lottery-prize-from-scratch-off-ticket-has-been-convicted-of-murdering-24-year-old-girlfriend/ Michael Todd Hill convicted of the murder of Keonna Tavangela Graham