Local News

Fayetteville couple charged in 1995 death of California nephew

Posted March 31, 2011 9:36 a.m. EDT

— 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.