Classmates upset Klasky’s killer released early

Published 2:20 pm Monday, July 28, 2008

PASCAGOULA (AP) — Several of Adrienne Klasky’s former classmates are sending the governor an oversized letter expressing their anger and dismay about his decision to let her killer out of prison.

People who graduated from Pascagoula High School with Klasky in 1973 have been signing a 12-foot poster to send to Gov. Haley Barbour.

Barbour this month suspended the life sentence of Michael Graham, who had been working as a trusty in the Governor’s Mansion. Graham is Klasky’s ex-husband, and he was convicted of murder in her 1989 killing.

Email newsletter signup

“We wanted to express to the governor our outrage in what he has done in letting someone like this loose,” classmate Harvey Barton told WLOX-TV in Biloxi.

Witnesses said Graham stalked Klasky for three years before pulling next to her at a Pascagoula intersection and shooting her in the head as she waited for a light to change.

State Rep. Brandon Jones, D-Pascagoula, said he will deliver the poster to Barbour in August when lawmakers return to Jackson to restart a special session.

“Who knows what a 12-foot piece of butcher paper means, but we hope that it shows the raw emotion that was there. And the memory of what was by all accounts, a lovely person,” Jones said.

Jones hopes to curtail a governor’s right to pardon or suspend the sentence of anyone convicted of premeditated murder.

Barton said he has fond memories of Klasky.

“Adrienne was always so full of life, and always had a smile on her face, and so happy, that’s the way everybody remembers her,” he said.

Graham would have been eligible for parole July 12, 2010.

Barbour issued an “indefinite suspension of sentence,” said Pete Smith, a spokesman for the governor. The suspension can be reversed.

The governor said last week that what he did for Graham was the equivalent of a parole and that Graham will report regularly to an officer.

Barbour said he’s willing to pardon Graham if he gets a job and follows the rules during this “second chance” he’s been given.

The governor said Graham was a diligent worker at the mansion. Barbour said he expects Graham “to have an unblemished record” outside prison.