Norman Graham spent 10 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit. In 2008, he was wrongfully convicted for the 1980 rape and murder of his girlfriend. Norman never stopped fighting to prove his innocence. Shortly after his conviction, he contacted the Kentucky Innocence Project (KIP) and for 8 long years, Norman fought with his KIP legal team to prove his innocence. In October of 2017, Norman was granted a new trial. A few weeks later, he was released on bond, and enjoyed his first steak dinner in 10 years. But his fight is far from over. Norman must now fight to get back on his feet.
Because Norman turned 65 while behind bars, he was not eligible to apply for social security. Now 71, Norman expected to receive his back-payment from social security. Prior to his conviction, Norman was a successful union foreman who had been employed full-time his entire adult life. He supported himself and contributed the maximum amount to social security. Despite this, he was informed by the Social Security Administration that he is not entitled to back payments because he was convicted of a felony at the time he turned 65. It does not matter that his conviction has been vacated, and Norman is no longer a convicted felon.
Norman is fortunate to have the support of his friends and family, but resources are limited. He wants nothing more than to be self-sufficient and to find employment. Unfortunately, this is nearly impossible without transportation. A lack of transportation also makes it difficult for him to attend appointments with his oncologist.
Norman is also facing retrial, despite overwhelming evidence that a known serial killer, Roy Wayne Dean, is the true perpetrator. In 1980, Norman stayed out late drinking with friends in Clarksville. His girlfriend remained at his trailer. He returned early in the morning, to find that she had been brutally attacked and murdered. Norman was immediately targeted as the killer. Unreliable science surrounding dew and radiator heat was the primary evidence against Norman in his first trial in 1981. That trial resulted in a mistrial. Norman left the state for employment opportunities.
In 2006, a cold case detective presented the case to the prosecutor, asking that Norman be indicted. The only new evidence collected was a statement from a family member of Norman’s girlfriend. The primary evidence against Norman was semen that was found on the victim’s clothing. The presence of Norman’s semen was known by prior detectives, who noted that Norman and the victim had a consensual sexual relationship. Despite this, Norman was indicted in 2007 and retried in 2008. Norman was convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison.
In 2017, friends of Norman found a new lead. The lead was provided to investigator Jimmer Dudley of the Kentucky Innocence Project. Jimmer Dudley quickly located the sister of Roy Wayne Dean, who put her brother at the scene of the killing. He also located a cousin of Roy Wayne Dean, who too placed Roy Wayne at the scene of the murder. Both women later testified that they heard a scream and then saw Roy Wayne Dean coming from the direction of Norman’s trailer. Roy’s sister also testified that she saw blood on Roy and scratches on his arms. Another family member testified that Roy Wayne Dean’s father told him that Roy Wayne came home that night with bloody clothes. Roy Wayne’s father further said he told his son to get rid of the clothes. The father of Roy Wayne Dean died before he could testify.
Roy Wayne Dean continued to murder. In 1984, he was convicted of killing a woman in Kentucky. Shortly thereafter, he was convicted of murdering a woman in Tennessee. Just as he left Norman’s girlfriend, these women were stripped of their clothing, raped, their hands tied behind their back, and killed in a manner the police described as “over-kill.” The bodies of all three women were left in eerily similar positions.
Despite this overwhelming evidence, prosecutors have not yet charged Roy Wayne Dean. Instead, they are appealing the court order vacating Norman’s conviction. Norman is innocent and welcomes the day he can officially clear his name. While he waits, he needs your help so he can seek employment, continue his medical treatments, and recover from his 10 years of wrongful incarceration.
Please make a donation to help Norman get back to work, and back to living his life. Any donation, big or small, will make a world of dif
ference to him. Consider donating $25, or more if you are able.
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