Norfolk, Va. – Jamiel Graves kept his head down during much of his preliminary hearing Wednesday for missing Norfolk mother Phylicia Robinson’s murder.
Nearly a dozen of her family and friends were mortified as disturbing details of Graves interview with detectives played out in court.
A video taped recording shows Graves telling detectives “I strangled her.”
He said he believes it happened the day Robinson disappeared in early October last year.
Graves said he was sitting alone in his apartment, which is on the other side of Phylicia’s in a Marlow Avenue duplex.
He said heard Robinson going into her apartment but somehow “I got her in my room.”
Graves told police “I was high” and “my hands felt like they were on fire”.
He then said, “She was there and I strangled her I guess.”
Graves told detectives he then wrapped Robinson’s body in a blanket and put her in his closet.
Robinson’s family and friends searched much of Ocean View for her for nearly two months.
It wasn’t until after Virginia Beach police arrested Graves for the murder of the mother of his children Mandi Myers in late November that Graves’ mother discovered Robinson’s body in his closet.
Graves told Norfolk detectives that Robinson’s death “Happened the same way as Mandi.”
Attorneys said Robinson’s autopsy doesn’t give an exact cause of death, but it does say she died of homicidal violence.
Graves’ case has been sent to a Norfolk grand jury that will meet in June. If the grand jury indicts Graves, the case may go to trial.
An earlier NewsChannel 3 investigation uncovered Graves’ mental evaluation, which reveals his history of cocaine use and mental hospital stays.
He has been deemed fit to stand trial in both murders.
A date for Graves’ Virginia Beach trial has not been set.