Graves gets 5 years for fatally shooting nephew

Michael Lamar Graves. Photo/Fayette County Jail.

Fayetteville resident Michael “Mickey” Graves (photo above) had his day in court on Jan. 29 in connection with the murder charge against him for the February 2016 shooting death of his nephew, Jason Bret Graves. A guilty plea to involuntary manslaughter resulted in a sentence of five years in prison.

District Attorney Ben Coker said Graves, 69, entered a guilty plea to the charge of involuntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to 10 years, with the first five years in prison for the shooting death of Jason Bret Graves on February 12, 2016.

Coker said 11 family members spoke at the plea hearing in front of Fayette County Superior Court Judge Fletcher Sams.

Michael Graves was charged in February 2016 with the murder of his nephew, Jason Bret Graves, 42, at the family’s place of business on Eastin Road north of Fayetteville.

Jason Brett Graves.
Jason Brett Graves.

Bret Graves died after suffering a gunshot wound to the chest. Michael Graves told investigators he shot his nephew.

Regarding the incident, Sheriff Barry Babb at the time said Michael Graves called 911 at 6:27 p.m., stating that he had shot his nephew, Bret Graves.

Babb said deputies responded to Graves Used Cars and Parts located at 205 Eastin Road and found Jason Graves lying on the floor of the salvage yard business with a gunshot wound to the chest.

“I did not enter into this decision lightly, but only after an extensive review of the facts and law as it applies to this case. I did discuss the difficulty in proving a charge of murder with the family and knew of their dissatisfaction with the plea,” Coker said. “This is one of the most difficult decisions I have made as a prosecutor. While I do not claim to understand the pain the family of Bret Graves feels, I did take their statements and feelings to heart.

“Ultimately, as the district attorney for this circuit, my job is the follow the laws in the state of Georgia. The evidence in the case supported this plea, which follows that law.

“While extremely difficult, I stand by the decision made by myself and this office. My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Bret Graves. I sincerely hope for peace for them.”