Cory Latrell Grafton

Cory Latrell Grafton

A Fort Hood soldier was indicted by a Bell County grand jury on a murder charge after police said he choked a woman to death at a Killeen hotel in 2019.

Cory Latrell Grafton, 20, has been held in the Bell County Jail on a $1 million bond since his arrest on Nov. 4, 2020. Grafton is a soldier with the 1st Cavalry Division.

He is accused of killing 32-year-old Chelsea L. Cheatham on June 3, 2019. She had been found unconscious and not breathing at the Killeen Days Inn, 1602 E. Central Texas Expressway. At the time of the incident, it was unknown if her death was by natural causes and an investigation was initiated. KPD detectives later received the results of the autopsy and it was determined the manner of death was ruled a homicide.

Grafton allegedly admitted to his sergeant that he killed Cheatham during an argument.

Specifically, the arrest affidavit states that Grafton told his sergeant “he was hanging out with her and that she said some stupid s*** to him and that he said some stupid s*** back to her and that at that point in time, his hands were around her throat.”

Investigators determined that Grafton was at the scene at the time that Cheatham was killed and that Grafton’s DNA matched DNA found at the scene, according to KPD and an affidavit.

On June 3, 2019, KPD officers were dispatched to the Days Inn in response to a call of an unconscious person who was not breathing. The person was identified as Cheatham, and with the help of a friend of Cheatham, officers were able to put together a description of a person seen walking toward the room in which Cheatham was found.

Police said that a search of the room resulted in the discovery of several cellphones and that phone messages led to the discovery of a phone number that belonged to Grafton. When asked, Grafton admitted there were conversations between Cheatham’s phone and a phone number or device he had previously owned, although he initially denied recalling the conversation, according to the affidavit.

“Investigators interviewed Grafton about Cheatham’s death and collected a sample of his DNA. One of Grafton’s co-workers provided a statement to police that Grafton confessed to him about killing Cheatham,” according to the DPS release. “Investigators expedited the DNA test on Grafton’s sample,” and the test results came back about two months later.

Also indicted on Wednesday, in unrelated charges, were:

David E. Johnson Sr., 61, of Killeen, on a charge of possession of a controlled substance less than 1 gram.

Donte J. Varnado, 24, of Killeen, on two charges of possession of a controlled substance less than 1 gram.

Mercardo V. Johnson, 35, of Killeen, on a charge of possession of a controlled substance 1 gram or more but less than 4 grams.

Andrew J. Perez, 23, of Copperas Cove, on a charge of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance 4 grams or more but less than 200 grams.

Timothy G. Ware, 41, of Killeen, on a charge of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams.

Terrence A. Townsend, 32, of Jarrell, on a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

Brianna J. Oakes, 30, of Killeen, on a charge of unauthorized use of a vehicle.

Demetrius A. Henry, 48, of Killeen, on a charge of evading arrest with a vehicle.

Clarissa K. Shea or Kakie Shea, 62, of Killeen, on a charge of theft of property $2,500 or more but less than $30,000.

Robinson G. Perez-Lopez, 58, of Killeen, on a charge of forgery.

Jonathan R. Jackson, 39, of Killeen, on a charge of criminal mischief $2,500 or more but less than $30,000.

Kedrien D. Booker, 38, of Coffeeville, Texas, on a charge of robbery.

Terence A. Smith, 48, of Killeen, on a charge of failure to stop and render aid.

Robert J. Maxwell Sr., 36, of Killeen, on a charge of aggravated robbery.

Taurean R. McGowan, 33, of Killeen, on charges of assault of a public servant and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Stephon A. Barrett, 25, of Killeen, on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Julian A. Feliciano-Soto, 19, of Killeen, on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Morris Smith Jr., 40, of Killeen, on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Ricky Soriano, 49, of Killeen, on a charge of indecency with a child.

Jason H. Salas, 40, of Nolanville, on a charge of unauthorized use of a vehicle.

Vivian Bobe, 22, of Killeen, on a charge of insurance fraud.

Daniel H. Gibson, 24, of Killeen, on a charge of unlawful carrying of a weapon.

Malik R. Williams, 23, of Killeen, on a charge of assault of a family or household member by choking.

Michael Crothers, 51, of Harker Heights, on a charge of assault of a family or household member by choking.

Charles R. Creson, 41, of Killeen, on charges of possession of a controlled substance less than 1 gram and possession of a controlled substance 4 grams or more but less than 200 grams.

Glenda S. Guidry, 48, of Harker Heights, on a charge of fraudulent use or possession of identifying information.

Travorius D. Rush, 20, of Killeen, on a charge of assault of a public servant.

Keith D. Gadison, 21, of Killeen, on a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

Omar S. Bouie, 39, of Killeen, on a charge of continuous violence against the family.

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