Murder victim’s family worries former Army reservist charged will use PTSD as defense

Virginia Beach,  Va. – He is charged in the murders of two women in two different cities in Hampton Roads, but Wednesday, the case against Jamiel Graves in Virginia Beach took another step forward.

Prosecutors set his preliminary hearing date for February, after which his case will move to circuit court for trial.

It’s something that the family of his first victim, Mandi Myers, is ready for.

“I want him to no longer be of any concern to my family,” said Tanya Myers, Mandi’s sister.

Myers is worried about what Graves might use in court as an excuse for killing her sister, since Graves served in the military, and neighbors say he has a history of depression.

“I know PTSD is a very real thing, however in this particular case, his problems go far back,” said Myers.

His public defenders have not formally filed an insanity defense, but even the Beach’s top prosecutor acknowledges there might be mental issues in this case.

“It’s going to be at least a year before we get any determination because of such testing that will have to occur,” said Commonwealth Attorney Harvey Bryant.

Trying to figure out if Graves did indeed have PTSD would slow down justice for both Mandi and the other woman he is accused of killing, Norfolk mother Phylicia Robinson.

Myers also says she is worried about the bad name this gives others suffering from PTSD.

“There are many people in the military that serve their time overseas and are great upstanding individuals, and for them to be disgraced in this way, it’s not right. They have come home and they haven’t done what he has done.”

Related: 

Family celebrates Phylicia Robinson’s birthday

Man accused of killing Norfolk mother arraigned on murder charges

Jamiel Graves in court today

Murdered Beach mother met accused killer while serving together in Army Reserves

Prosecutors could seek death penalty for man accused of strangling ex-girlfriend

Man charged with murder of two women served in the military

Family says body found in Norfolk has been identified

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