[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Changing stories

After Rudolph Holton was convicted of strangling Katrina Graddy in 1986, some witnesses changed their stories.
Flemmie Birkins
1986: Jail trusty. Said Holton told him he strangled Graddy and set her on fire.
2001: Said he made up Holton’s confession to save himself from a long prison sentence.
2003: Said original story was the truth.
Carrie Nelson
1986: Lived on the alley behind the crack house. Put police onto Holton, said she saw him go into the house the night Graddy was murdered. Died in 1992.
Elease Moore
2001: Said Nelson told her she concocted her story to get back at Holton for stealing her groceries. Said Nelson told her she felt guilty about it.
Johnny Lee Newsome, aka Georgia Boy
1986: Said he saw Holton and Graddy together the night of the murder.
2001: Said he lied, did not see either of them that night.
2003: Said original story was the truth.
Donald Lamar Smith
2001: Said Graddy told him Pine raped her. Said he heard Pine threaten to kill her.
2003: State interviewed him again. He stuck to his story.
David Pearson, aka Pine
2001: Denied killing Graddy, who reported him for rape 10 days before she was murdered. Smith said Pearson threatened to kill her for stealing his cocaine.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Back to Tampa Bay area news

Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright
Special Links
Mary Jo Melone
Howard Troxler

From the Times
local news desks
  • Sergeant sentenced to 6 years for theft
  • Year of the Goat: Good fortune follows them
  • Parade organizers, charity fight over beer sales