70-year-old woman spotted suspect before alleged Centennial Trail attack

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by OTHELLO RICHARDS & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 20 at 6:21 PM

SPOKANE-- People in a retirement community near the Centennial Trail where a victim was attacked said they saw the assault and murder suspect hanging around the area before hand.

One woman who lives at the Maplewood Garden Retirement Complex told KREM 2 News she saw Graham about a half an hour before he’s accused of attacking another woman.

Police arrested Avondre Graham, 17, after a victim said he beat and robbed her near Mission Park on the Centennial Trail last week. Maj. Craig Meidl with the Spokane Police Department said Thursday detectives came up with enough probable cause to forward charges to the prosecutor’s office. Graham gave them enough information to connect him to the McGill homicide during an interview after the Mission Park incident, according to the police department.

Last Thursday afternoon 70-year-old Linda Kromm was close to mile marker 21 close to Mission Park. ‘I saw this man step out of the trees and I had a funny feeling about him,” said Kromm.

The person looked over his shoulder at her as he walked across the trail. “He kept shuffling, and he kept looking back at me but I just felt uncomfortable so I waited until I saw two bicyclists coming my way and then I went around him,” described Kromm.

Soon after Kromm said she saw police flood the area. Later she saw a picture of the same man she saw on the news. “I saw his eye, what they call the bad eye and I thought, "Oh lord”’ said Kromm.

Spokane Police originally named Avondre Graham a person of interest in the Sharlotte McGill investigation and Thursday KREM 2 News told Kromm, Graham was now the murder suspect. “I remember that the McGill woman was down in through trees and she had been jumped. I hadn't really thought about the possibility of being who he's been accuse of…I just had a gut feeling.”

Kromm and many neighbors said they are even more relieved at Graham’s arrest.
 

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