ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – After almost 11 years of investigation, Arapahoe County authorities have arrested Terrell Jones, the 26-year-old man who they believe shot and killed Andrew Graham while trying to rob him in November 2009. Court records show an arrest warrant was issued Tuesday and murder charges were filed against Jones who authorities always believed was the triggerman in the Graham killing, but investigators never had enough evidence or proof to obtain an arrest warrant until this week.
Jones is being charged with one count of first degree murder after deliberation, and one count of felony murder according to court records. He has repeatedly denied to investigators that he killed Andrew Graham.
“It doesn’t bring my son back, but at least he’s being held accountable,” said Cyndi Gelston-Graham, Andrew Graham’s mother. “My husband said he thought nothing would ever happen but I never gave up the faith.”
Graham, 23, was shot and killed in November 2009 as he returned to his home in Centennial from a nearby RTD light rail station. Graham was shot in the back and investigators suspected he was the target of a racially-motivated robbery.
Investigators soon zeroed in on five suspected gang members who they believed were connected to Graham’s death: Terrell Jones, Allen Ford, Kendall Austin, Joseph Martin and Clarissa Lockhart.
A grand jury indicted Ford, Austin, Martin and Lockhart in 2017 with investigators believing those four were accomplices and were present for the murder.
They were all charged with felony murder, conspiracy and racketeering charges. Charges against Kendall Austin were dropped in 2019.
Since then, the remaining three have agreed to plea bargains with prosecutors and have agreed to testify against Jones. Court records show the last of the three to agree to a plea deal was Clarissa Lockhart who pleaded guilty on Feb. 27 to a felony racketeering charge. Other charges against her were dropped. She is scheduled to be sentenced April 24.
Lockhart, Ford, and Martin have all identified Jones as being the one who shot Graham, but all also failed polygraph tests at various times, changed their stories and have offered conflicting accounts of what happened, according to Jones’ arrest affidavit. For instance Martin told investigators in 2010 he was not present when Graham was shot and did not know who shot the college student. But years later, Martin testified he was with Ford, Jones, Lockhart, and Austin “when they approached a male (Andrew Graham) because they were going to rob him.”
Martin said the group were in a stolen SUV at the time, and were looking to steal a briefcase Graham was carrying.
“Joseph Martin said that Terrell Jones shot Andrew Graham and then took the bag,” according to the affidavit.
Lockhart was found to be deceptive on polygraph tests given by investigators, but later admitted involvement in the murder.
“They approached him and Terrell Jones shot him,” the affidavit said Lockhart told police. “She admitted their intention was to rob him because they thought he might have money but then Terrell Jones shot him.”
According to the arrest affidavit obtained by CBS4, Jones was interviewed in 2010 about the Graham case and denied involvement. He took a polygraph test on March 3, 2010, and investigators say Jones was deceptive when he was asked if he had shot and killed Andrew Graham. In police interviews and grand jury proceedings, Jones has repeatedly denied any connection to Graham’s death.
The court document also notes that DNA testing did not show any genetic material from any of the suspects was found on Graham’s briefcase.
“There were no conclusive forensic testing that led to Terrell Jones or any other suspect,” the arrest affidavit said.
Although Jones was a juvenile when the Graham murder occurred, state criminal records show he has been arrested multiple times since then.
Denver police arrested Jones in 2013 and he pleaded guilty to a felony marijuana charge. He was again arrested in 2014 in Denver on another drug charge. Those were followed by a theft arrest in 2015, a weapons arrest in 2019 and Aurora police arrested Jones last June leading to a guilty plea on a weapons charge and one year of probation. He was arrested again in Denver in August 2019 and received two years of probation after pleading guilty to a felony drug charge.
“I’m hoping people will realize what he is,” said Gelston-Graham.
She told CBS4 she was “cautiously optimistic that some measure of justice will be served” with the arrest of Jones. She went on to say she was thankful that the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s office and prosecutors with the 18th Judicial District continued to pursue the case for more than a decade.