Incident happened at Twin Lakes’ motel

By Jason Arndt

Jury selection was supposed to start Monday for a 29-year-old Twin Lakes woman involved in an April heroin overdose death at the Hilltop Motel, but court officials might have come to a plea agreement, pending a motion hearing before Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder in December.

Ashley McGraw, originally charged with first-degree reckless homicide party to crime as a repeater, had it modified to first-degree recklessly endangering safety, her Kenosha-based attorney Terry Rose said.

“They had offered and we have accepted and a judge must approve a plea agreement which would allow reducing the reckless homicide to a charge of first degree endangering safety,” Rose said. “That carries with it, a substantially less penalty of 12 years, as opposed to 40.”

Ashley McGraw

McGraw’s repeater modifier was due to a 2016 felony theft conviction in Kenosha County, according to the criminal complaint.

“In addition, they would dismiss a repeater allegation which would have added another two years and would also dismiss a repeater charge of delivering a controlled substance,” he said. She would need to testify against the co-defendant in this case.”

McGraw, according to online court records, has been held in Kenosha County Jail since May 11, when she received a $15,000 cash bond.

She was bound over for trial following a June 1 preliminary hearing, where probable cause was found a felony was committed, following testimony from authorities.

Initially, court officials expected to try McGraw, Morris and alleged drug dealer Daniel D. Williams as co-defendants, but McGraw’s case was severed upon her request at a July 26 motion hearing.

McGraw’s charges stem from an April 29 overdose death at the Hilltop Motel, where Twin Lakes police discovered 24-year-old Cody Lawrence slumped over and in the early stages of rigor mortis, the criminal complaint states.

The complaint contends officers uncovered drug paraphernalia, notably a syringe and spoon with cotton on it, which is commonly used for heroin.

Twin Lakes police officers, who recalled Lawrence struggled with heroin addiction, responded to the motel after the building manager received reports from Morris’ roommate who expressed concern about Lawrence.

The building manager, according to complaint, followed up by checking Lawrence’s room, where the manager found him unresponsive.

Later, a resident told authorities McGraw, along with Morris, were involved in the overdose and that “Ashley was regularly running out of town to get heroin for everyone,” the complaint states.

McGraw, who agreed to give a statement, told police “she frequently drives defendant Morris to Illinois to purchase heroin,” the complaint states.

One of the purchases allegedly happened on April 28, when McGraw transported Morris to a drug dealer known as “Dee” in Illinois, and returned to the Hilltop Motel.

Lawrence, the complaint states, then went to McGraw’s apartment to ask about heroin availability, but was directed to Morris.

On April 30, when McGraw again drove Morris to Illinois, he allegedly told her Lawrence was dead and that he took his cell phone “so that no evidence could be found on the phone” and later discarded it in the trash at a McDonald’s.

Morris, who later denied taking Lawrence’s phone, eventually admitted to supplying heroin to Lawrence the night before his death.

Williams, meanwhile, remains in Illinois where he is believed to have other outstanding charges.


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