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Lottery Winner Sentenced For Murder Of Girlfriend

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Lottery Winner Sentenced For Murder Of Girlfriend

A man who won the lottery has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his girlfriend.

In 2017 a nuclear power plant worker decided to try his luck one more time after buying an unlucky lottery ticket, the decision would change his life and win him a $10 million jackpot.

At the time, he said he would take a lump sum payment of $6 million rather than 20 annual payments of $500,000, and would invest the cash into his wife's business.

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Five years later and 54-year-old Michael Hill, the lucky winner of that lottery money, has been sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for the first-degree murder of 24-year-old Keonna Graham, The Independent reports.

Michael Hill. Credit: Brunswick County
Michael Hill. Credit: Brunswick County

Graham's body had been discovered by a maid in a room in the SureStay Hotel in Shallotte, North Carolina on 20 July, 2020.

She had suffered a single gunshot wound to the back of her head, with an autopsy later revealing that she was asleep on the hotel bed when the shooter had murdered her.

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Hill became the prime suspect after investigators looked through the hotel's surveillance footage and determined that he was the only other person in the hotel room at the time of the murder.

The 54-year-old was arrested by police the following day and confessed to the crime, the jury took just one hour of deliberations to find Hill guilty of murdering Graham.

Hill told police he had been in a relationship with Graham for about 18 months when he had discovered that she was texting other men while staying at the hotel.

Lottery winner Michal Hill. Credit: North Carolina Education Lottery
Lottery winner Michal Hill. Credit: North Carolina Education Lottery
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When police arrested Hill in Southport, North Carolina, he confessed to the crime of murdering Graham.

In addition to his life sentence without the possibility of parole, the 54-year-old was also sentenced for possession of a firearm by a felony, which he had pleaded guilty to before the murder trial began.

Hill will serve a concurrent sentence of 22 to 36 months in prison for that felony, though it will change nothing about his circumstances as he is not eligible for parole.

He will spend the rest of his life behind bars and has no chance of being released from jail.

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A sentence of life without parole is only imposed for some of the most serious crimes, including first-degree murder, and does not carry the possibility of the prisoner ever being released back among the public.

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Featured Image Credit: Brunswick County/WECT

Topics: News, US News, Crime

Joe Harker
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