A North Carolina man has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his girlfriend. Michael Todd Hill was sentenced without the possibility of parole in the 2020 fatal shooting of his girlfriend. Hill became the winner of $10 million from a scratch-off lottery ticket in August 2017.
According to WECT News, Hill was convicted of first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon. He was initially arrested and taken into custody in 2020. After his trial concluded, the jury deliberated for an hour before returning the guilty verdict.
“The District Attorney’s Office would like to thank our local law enforcement agencies for their collaborative efforts in the investigation of Graham’s death,” expressed Assistant District Attorney Shirley Smircic in the prosecutors’ news release, per News & Observer. “The hard work of these officers ensured a just result in this case.”
His 23-year-old girlfriend Keonna Graham was reported missing by her mother in July 2020. Her body was found in a hotel where surveillance footage exposed Hill as the only individual in the room with her. She died of a gunshot wound to the back of the head. Hill confessed he shot Graham after learning she was texting other men. The two were in a romantic relationship a year and a half after he won his lottery ticket and had reportedly endured prior domestic incidents.
When he won the $10 million in 2017, Hill was a nuclear power plant worker. He had a choice of receiving a $10 million annuity that has 20 payments of $500,000 a year, or a lump sum of $6 million. He eventually decided on the latter, cashing out $4,159,101 after required state and federal tax withholdings.