Murderers and alleged murderers: A 16-year-old, whose initials are T.J.; Allen Ford, 18; Joseph Martin, 16; and Clarissa Lockhart, 19
Victim: Andrew Gelston Graham, 23
Death Crime date: November 5, 2009
Location: Centennial, Colorado
Crimes: Murder & robbery
Summary of the crime
Andrew was robbed and murdered by a gang of five perpetrators in a racially motivated attack. The assailants spotted the University of Colorado graduate at the light rail station in downtown Denver and followed him to Centennial for about 40 minutes. They then shot him in the back and robbed him.
On November 5, 2009, Andrew was returning home from an RTD light rail station when he was confronted by Ford. Ford and the other assailants had spotted Andrew at the light rail station in downtown Denver and followed him to Centennial for approximately 40 minutes. Four of the perpetrators later admitted to investigators that they planned to rob Andrew, whom they saw as “a white male who might have money.” The attackers have been linked to a string of race-motivated robberies and assaults in downtown Denver in 2009. Andrew’s murder was part of that crime spree, during which young African-American perpetrators assaulted and robbed white and Hispanic men in the Denver area. Suspects believed to be involved in the crime spree told police that they targeted white males because they assumed they had money and wouldn’t fight back or present a threat. The attackers robbed Andrew of his satchel and shot him in the back. Ford, Lockhart, and Martin have identified T.J. as the shooter.
According to one of the offenders, T.J. “pulled out a pistol and tried to rob the guy but the guy wouldn’t let him so [T.J.] shot him.” Andrew was found at about 5:30 a.m. on East Phillips Place in Centennial, a few blocks from his home. The satchel he was robbed of, which contained his credit cards and cell phone, was found a couple of blocks away from his body. According to Martin, the belongings were thrown out of a car window.
In 2017 a grand jury indicted Ford, Austin, Martin, and Lockhart. These suspects were charged with felony murder, conspiracy, and racketeering charges. Charges against Austin were dropped in 2019. T.J. was finally arrested in March 2020 and charged with first-degree murder.
Ford, Martin, and Lockhart have agreed to testify against T.J. in exchange for plea bargains. Martin pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and in February 2018 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Ford pled guilty in November 2019 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison in January 2020. Lockhart pleaded guilty in March 2020 to a felony racketeering charge. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The suspects have also pled guilty to other crimes including assault, robbery, and a bias-motivated crime involving “bodily injury.” The case against T.J. will go to trial.