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Murder Victim’s Mother: Killers Were ‘Cowardly’

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Andrew Graham (credit: CBS)

Andrew Graham (credit: CBS)

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CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – The mother of a 23-year-old man who was killed nearly a year ago as he walked home from an RTD light rail station, has harsh words — and a plea — for whoever gunned down her son.

“What they did was cowardly. My only hope is they would have the courage to tell the truth,” said Cyndi Gelston-Graham, mother of Andrew Graham.

Gelston-Graham has consistently declined to discuss the investigation into her son’s death until now, days before the one year anniversary of his murder.

The University of Colorado graduate student was killed as he was walking home. His body was discovered the morning of Nov. 6, 2009. There have been no arrests and no one has been charged in the case.

“The only time there will be any comfort is when I know exactly what happened to him, why they picked him,” Gelston-Graham said softly during the October interview conducted at her Centennial home.

“Do you feel like you know who killed your son?” she was asked.

“I have a fair idea who did.”

CBS4 has previously reported that, according to multiple sources, Arapahoe County Sheriffs Department investigators believe a group of as many as five Denver gang members are responsible for killing Graham, targeting him because he was white and they believed he might have money.

He was shot once in the back. His wallet and money were not taken and his briefcase was found several blocks away.

Two of the suspects — Allen Ford and Clarissa Lockhart — were charged and convicted in connection with some of the racially tinged robberies and attacks that occured through central Denver and LoDo in the late summer and fall of 2009.

Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson has declined to discuss the Graham case citing the ongoing investigation. Arapahoe County District Attorney Carol Chambers was unavailable for comment.

Casimir Spencer, a public information officer for the 18th Judicial District, said in a written statement, “There is the possibility it will go to the grand jury sometime in the future. There is not enough evidence at this time to file charges or to prove a case against anyone in this homicide beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.”

But Gelston-Graham is more forthcoming.

“Look at all the people they attacked at LoDo and it led to this. It may happen again and I don’t want another innocent family to suffer through this, I mean I really don’t. No ones family should be subjected to this. It just shouldn’t happen.

“It would go a long way if one of them would stand up and have the integrity and courage to say ‘This is what happened.'”

Gelston-Graham believes her son’s killer will be held accountable.

“I think it may take a while but I think eventually they will be,” Gelston-Graham said.

In the meantime, she is trying to live her life in ways that honor her son. She took up piano six months ago.

“It was a way to honor Andrew. Andrew had a love of music. I want to continue, he would like that.”

She has gone back to school and is taking art classes, something her son always urged her to do.

She is also planning a candlelight walk of rememberance for Saturday night beginning at 6 p.m. The public is invited to remember a young man described as confident and strong.

“He died in such a horrible and ugly manner and he was such a gentle, noble spirit and I want people to remember that. We need to remember how he died to stay safe and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Tears fell from Cyndi Gelston-Graham’s eyes as she talked about her son.

“It just saddens me all the good he would have done. The wonderful father he would have been. And I’m going to miss the look on his face when he would have held his first child and how proud he would be, and how much joy I would be able to see in his face. I feel really bad he’s going to miss those things. And they took those from him for no reason.”

– Written By Brian Maass

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