Weatherford Democrat

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December 16, 2013

Murder charge dropped in Springtown killing

By CHRISTIN COYNE

At the request of prosecutors following a polygraph test, a Parker County district judge Monday dismissed a murder charge against a woman who claimed she killed her boyfriend in self-defense. 

Roni Catherine Lisenbe, 33, shot and killed 38-year-old Richard Graves at their Springtown area home on March 8. 

She reportedly told investigators that Graves had assaulted her, physically prevented her from leaving the home and knocked a phone out of her hand, preventing her from calling for help. 

Lisenbe told a 911 dispatcher she fired a warning shot before shooting Graves. 

The two were fighting, “and I told him he needed to get out and he kept pushing me and throwing me to the ground and I kept telling him to leave me alone,” Lisenbe stated during the call.

“He was hitting me and pushing me and he got in my face and I got my gun out and I told him not to come at me and I fired a warning shot,” Lisenbe said. 

Lisenbe told investigators that Graves was reaching for the gun when she shot him. 

“Since there was no one at the home other than Lisenbe and Graves, we had only one version of what happened, and the circumstantial evidence didn’t clearly disprove or corroborate some of Lisenbe’s assertions,” Parker County District Attorney Don Schnebly said in a statement Monday. “However, after indictment, she consulted with her attorney and agreed to take a polygraph. The results of that polygraph examination indicated that she was being truthful about assertions that supported her self-defense claim.”

“It is our job as prosecutors to see that justice is done,” Schnebly said. “In this case, I believe that means not prosecuting this individual.” 

At the time of her arrest, Lisenbe’s work supervisor told the Democrat that Lisenbe had previously told coworkers that she afraid of Graves and that he had attacked and choked her days earlier. 

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