Local News

Fayetteville couple charged in 1995 death of California nephew

Posted March 31, 2011

— A Fayetteville couple was arrested Tuesday on accusations that they killed their 3-year-old nephew in California 16 years ago, police said.

LaFayette Pettress, 57, and Duree Graves Pettress, 54, were charged with first-degree murder and placed in the Cumberland County jail without bond.

The Desert Dispatch reports that siblings of 3-year-old Tycoon Graves recently came forward and said that LaFayette Pettress beat their brother to death at her home in Barstow, Calif., in 1995. The siblings claimed their aunt and uncle intimidated them into saying that Tycoon had been killed by his 9-year-old sister.

Barstow police said the five siblings had been placed with the Petresses because their mother was accused of child abuse.

The couple has decided to fight extradition to California.


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  • CarolinianByChoice Mar 31, 2011

    Ol Forrester: Actually California does use capital punishment, but I believe the recent controversy over lethal injection drugs has caused a hiatus in executions. One can only hope these two get life without possibility of parole at the very least - and they won't fare well in the prison system either - seems even some criminals have their morals: murders/molestors of children are preyed upon or meet an "untimely demise" via "accidents" quite often in prison systems.

  • princessdukedaisey Mar 31, 2011

    CarolinianByChoice.. thank you for providing that article!

    "The children told police that the family had pizza the night before Tycoon's death and that there were some leftovers the next day. Tycoon went into the kitchen and sneaked a slice without permission, which led to the beating, the detective said."

    Sick Sick Sick people. To beat a child because he was hungry! I'm sure this has haunted these children for 16 years. RIP little angel and may justice be swiftly served.

  • princessdukedaisey Mar 31, 2011

    What happened to the 9 year old sister that was accused of the murder?

    These poor kids never had a chance.

  • CarolinianByChoice Mar 31, 2011

    These two have actually been on the radar of the Barstow Police Department since 1996 but they could not proceed without further information - see the article here: http://www.fayobserver.com/articles/2011/03/30/1082725?sac=Home

    The siblings may not have stepped forward before this because it sounds like these two intimidated them for a long time. Given the environment these children were subjected to back then (and probably not a great one since then either) it is easy to see how that intimidation could linger all these years.

  • RB-003 Mar 31, 2011

    Viewer - "We don't know who is telling the truth here."

    The story says "siblings came forward". That's more than one, and that will carry some weight in court.

  • RB-003 Mar 31, 2011

    Unbelievable! Thank God the siblings have now come forward. And can you imagine being so cowardly as to blame it on a 9-year old child? Disgusting!!! Pray they get the chair.

  • CarolinaGirlRJA Mar 31, 2011

    p.s. Thanks for making it publicly known that I was able to get under your skin good enough that now you I've been added to your list of people you like to personally attack on here for no apparent reason. You need serious help!

  • CarolinaGirlRJA Mar 31, 2011

    seankelly15 -- Get off it already. I'm not responding to any more of your immature, unnecessary posts. You are irrational, and just try to find a fight where there isn't one. Your anger, arrogance and constant need to belittle people is pitiful and petty. Please, get a life!

  • Con Amor brings luv and laughter Mar 31, 2011

    Such a sad sad story!

  • seankelly15 Mar 31, 2011

    deutschgirl89 - "They even look crazy."

    They are not accused of being CRAZY. They are accused of being murderers.