ALLEN TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania – Gregory Graf, a 53 year old businessman from Eastern Pennsylvania, is being charged with the murder of his 33 year old step daughter. Graf admittedly shot and killed Jessica Padgett in his home, then video taped himself having sex with her dead body before burying her in the backyard near a shed.
Graf Cannot Get Death Penalty Because He Raped Daughter After Killing Her
Prosecutors had hoped to seek the death penalty as a punishment for his crime, but oddly enough the videotaped evidence that investigators retrieved from Graf’s computer did more to protect him than condemn him. Due to a poorly decided aspect of Pennsylvania’s law, because Graf penetrated her body after she was dead he can only have a misdemeanor count of abusing a corpse. Had he violated her prior to her death, then the charges would include sexual assault which would have been a felony. The prosecutors were looking to add felony charges to the murder case in order to secure a death sentence for the deranged Gregory Graf.
After the discovery of Jessica Padgett’s body on Graf’s property, Graf was questioned by Pennsylvania police. He told detectives that he had hoped to have sex with his step-daughter, who he raised. Because he could not get her to willingly do so while she was alive he decided to take matters into his own hands, and shot her in the back of her head. After she dropped to the floor dead he set up a camera to record himself defiling her body, and saved the footage to his personal computer. When police watched the recovered footage, they stated that the evidence in the video proves beyond a doubt that the event occurred after Jessica Padgett had already been killed. Had there been no video evidence, medical examiners would have had to analyze her corpse to determine if the acts occurred before or after her death.
Graf has spent a long time in Padgett’s family, and had helped raise her as a young girl. She adored him like a father, but he apparently had much more sinister motives behind the special attention he gave to her growing up. There had never been any prior hint that Graf has these feelings for his step-daughter, but they ultimately culminated in a tragic event that left a family devastated and a community stunned.
While searching the home of Gregory Graf, police also located large amounts of marijuana, cash, seeds, and assorted paraphernalia. There was evidence that the successful Pennsylvania businessman had once run and operated a home-grown marijuana farm too. This evidence will also be used against him in court, but the charges will not relate to his criminal defense regarding the murder.
Graf Cannot Get Death Penalty Because He Raped Daughter After Killing Her.