Graham appears in Superior Court Tuesday

Cherokee County Schools, News

MURPHY, N.C. – Thomas Graham, the Murphy High School principal charged with two counts of indecent liberties with a student stemming from incidents occurring in January and February of 2016, appeared before Judicial District 30A Judge William H. Coward in Superior Court Tuesday, March 6, in Murphy.

On Tuesday, the next court date for Murphy High School Principal Thomas Graham was set for July 2.

Graham is represented by Murphy attorney Gerald R. Collins, and Judge Coward set Graham’s next court appearance for July 2.

Graham, 45, was indicted by a grand jury and arrested by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Thursday, Feb. 8, and later released from the Cherokee County Detention Center on a $2,500 bond. According to the Cherokee County School System, the principal was suspended with pay Jan. 26, prior to the arrest. Since then, Jason Forrister has served as acting principal of Murphy High School.


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Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.





Murphy, NC— During the January 02nd, 2017 session of Cherokee County Superior Court the Honorable Judge William H. Coward sentenced Larry Wayne Reid to over 250 months as part of a plea negotiation by Reid for his participation in the January 30th, 2013 robbery of Parkers Drugs Store located in the Peachtree Community of Cherokee County.

On January 30, 2013 at or about 1333 hrs., the Cherokee County 9-1-1 Communications Center received a call advising that a armed robbery had just occurred at Parkers Drug Store at 4278 Hwy 64 East in Peachtree. After the suspect robbed the store of money and narcotics he exited the premises through the back door with an undisclosed amount of U.S. currency and a large amount of narcotics particularly Oxycontin.

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation into the incident which identified Larry Wayne Reid, a registered sex offender, along with Elizabeth Donaldson and Samantha Redford as suspects in the case. Further as the investigation continued Reid was found in possession of a trafficking level of Oxycontin, an opiate. Additionally, during the investigation Reid led Georgia law enforcement authorities on a high speed chase.

During the sentencing Judge Coward sentenced Reid as follows:

Count 1 – Trafficking in Opiates – 90 – 120 months and a $100,000.00 fine
Count 2 – Robbery with a dangerous weapon – 78 – 106 months to run at the expiration of Count 1
Count 3 – Possession of a Firearm by convicted felon – 15 – 27 months to run at the expiration of Count 2

Reid was currently serving a sentence for a violation of the Sex Offender Registry. The sentences will begin at the expiration of current sentence. The remainder of the Cherokee County charges were dismissed as a result of the plea arrangement. Redford and Donaldson had previously been sentenced at earlier dates.

Sheriff Palmer stated “Excellent work by all concerned which includes our Deputies, Investigators and our ADA John Hindsman. Because of their hard work Mr. Reid will have a significant amount of time to reflect on the dangerous aspects of his crime spree. We can only make a guess as to what Reid’s motives were.”

Sheriff Palmer encourages any one that has information to report it. To report crime in Cherokee County you can call the anonymous tip line at 828-837-1344 or email a tip at or call 911 if you observe a crime in progress.

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