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Family say man's girlfriend killed him and claimed a robber did it

The family of Quinton Graham, killed on Aug. 8, said his former girlfriend Dionia James is responsible and deserves the harshest possible punishment.
Left, Quinton Graham. Right, Dionia JamesProvided/PPD

The family of a man found stabbed to death in a Southwest Philly backyard last month says they still don't know whatcaused his girlfriend to allegedly takehis life.

But a sister of30-year-old Quinton Graham, of Kensington,who was found stabbed to deathon Aug. 8, said34-year-old Dionia James deserves the harshest possible punishment for the crime.

"I want her to do life. It wasfirst-degree murder," said Chantee Graham, Quinton's sister.

Jameswaived her right to a preliminary hearing on first-degree murder charges Tuesday in the hopes that waiving the hearing mightprovide a "tactical advantage" to future negotiations for pleading to a reduced charge fromthe Philly D.A.'s office, her attorney Samuel Stretton said,although nothing is guaranteed.

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James, who wore a pink shirt in court, said little in court except to tell the judge she agreed with her attorney's advice.

James is charged with stabbing Graham to death on Aug. 10 in a backyard in Grays Ferry nearOakfordand 27th streets.

Graham's sister Angel Graham said the killing took place in the backyard of James' husband's sister — and that afterwards, James called Chantee and Angel, telling them that someone was laying in her backyard and she didn't know if it was Quinton or not.

Later James claimed Quinton was murdered during an attempted robbery, his sisters said -- but instead, detectivesarrested and charged James with the crime.

Strettonwas not immediately available to comment on Graham's family members' accusations.

Chantee, Angel and theiraunt Gwen Lewis credited the Philadelphia Police Department's detectives with quickly solving the murder, but said Graham's children, a son and daughter aged 13 and 10, are still grieving.

"You just have to pray," Angel said. "All these senseless killings is just sad. People have children, they have families. You're ripping them apart."

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