Michael "Mickey" Graves
Michael Lamar “Mickey” Graves

Michael Lamar “Mickey” Graves, 68, who has been charged with Malice Murder, though not yet indicted, in the Feb. 20 shooting death of his 42-year-old nephew Brett Graves, asked Wednesday afternoon for a bond modification that would allow him to step into his backyard.

Fayette County Superior Court Judge Fletcher Sams denied that request.

Judge Sams said during Wednesday’s hearing he doesn’t believe Graves is a flight risk, but he said, “He represents a risk in other ways.”

Assistant District Attorney Warren Sellers said he had spoken with members on Brett Graves’ side of the family who expressed concerns with Mickey Graves being allowed out of the house at all. He noted that the home in question is only separated from the salvage yard, which is where the shooting death took place, by the narrow width of one residential lot.

Sellers said Brett Graves’ family members are still running the salvage yard while Mickey Graves is in custody, and he said he would potentially be in their view if he stepped into his backyard.

Judge Sams said part of his reasoning for ordering the house arrest was to protect Mickey Graves. He said he wanted to remove the “temptation for someone to take the law into their own hands.”

Judge Sams said he might consider allowing Graves to go from house to backyard if he found a house where he could reside that was not so close to where the victim’s close family members live and work. A 24-hour ankle monitoring system keeps track of Graves’ movements.

Through his attorney, Mickey Graves maintains he is not guilty of murder, insisting that he acted in self defense when shooting his nephew. He said his nephew threatened him with a screwdriver on that Saturday evening at the salvage yard office.