Joel “Scott” Graves Murder – “Married to Evil” Season 1 Episode 2, “Killer Kin“ is an Investigation Discovery documentary that chronicles the murder of 20-year-old Joel “Scott” Graves in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in August 2018 during a tragic apartment fire. This episode offers insight into his death through interviews with Joel’s mother and stepfather, who provide valuable perspectives on their untimely demise.
Initially, the police suspected that the death may have been committed in self-defense. However, their hard work and the use of forensic evidence led to the apprehension of the perpetrator in less than two weeks, uncovering the truth behind the tragedy. This discovery marked a turning point in the case and revealed its cause.
“Married to Evil: Killer Kin” provides a fascinating glimpse into this gripping tale of justice from both perspectives – that of justice itself and the mother’s grief. This documentary offers invaluable insights, including information on investigative processes and forensic evidence’s key role in convicting the killer.
“Married to Evil: Killer Kin” presents this information to captivate audiences, providing an in-depth examination of Joel Graves’ murder and showing viewers the resilience and strength of the mother throughout the investigation.
Joel “Scott” Graves Murder Story
Joel “Scott” Graves was born to Joel “Chad” Graves and Jessica Jaramillo on January 9th, 1998, in Hattiesburg, Forrest County, Mississippi. As a child, he spent much time outdoors, engaging in activities such as hunting, fishing, and learning about Civil War battles. These activities and volunteering at an equestrian refuge near Virginia strengthened his faith and love for working with horses. Scott was an active Myrick Assembly of God congregation member, further deepening his faith and commitment.
Scott Jaramillo, described by his mother, Jessica Jaramillo as an energetic and active youngster, enjoyed spending hours amusing himself. By August 2018, he resided in Suffolk, Virginia, where he worked at a horse rescue farm. However, he regularly visited Hattiesburg to see his biological father, who held him in high esteem. Despite not excelling at tasks, Scott was often chosen for those that required high esteem, such as working with animals, as it brought him great pleasure.
Tragically, on August 16, 2018, Scott’s life was cut short at Breckenridge Apartments in Hattiesburg. Emergency personnel arrived and found Scott lying on the floor with a shotgun nearby the bedroom door. The autopsy revealed that he died from a shotgun blast wound to the throat, with live ammunition found nearby. The police obtained a search warrant for Scott’s bedroom, where they discovered a metal object of importance for the investigation.
Scott’s tragic demise cast a shadow over his vibrant life. With no explanation as to why or when his body was discovered and the gunshot heard from nearby, authorities began their investigation with an intensive search in Scott’s bedroom, which revealed an unknown metal object that might shed light on this tragic event.
Investigation and Arrest
Jessica was 17 when she became pregnant during a relationship with Joel “Chad” Graves, who was 24 then. They resided in rural Forrest County, near a small cottage in a dense forest. Initially, Jessica had positive memories of her relationship with Chad. However, things turned sour as Chad began spending extended time away due to work commitments, creating strain between them. Chad’s passion for firearms and his aspirations to join the National Guard added further complexity to their relationship. Additionally, he had a history of alleged violence, physically assaulting his ex-wife during minor disagreements, and struggling with alcoholism.
Even amid their difficulties, Chad and Jessica found hope with the birth of their first child, Scott, in January 1998. By April 1999, Jessica was expecting their second child, Cynthia. In September 1999, following an incident that led Jessica to contact the police for protection, Chad was taken into custody and admitted to an inpatient psychiatric facility under a court order.
According to Jessica, Chad’s aggressive behavior temporarily subsided following therapy and medication, allowing her to conceive their third child, Jody. However, Jessica soon realized that Chad’s transformation was only temporary, leaving her concerned about their marriage and its impact on their children. On a broadcast, Jessica revealed that she secretly underwent tubal ligation while Chad was away to prevent further pregnancies. An unfortunate August 17, 2001, event became the final straw and led Jessica to decide to part ways with Chad.
Jessica recounted what occurred on that fateful day. She arrived home late from a meeting with her father and found Chad pacing the hallway, dissatisfied and angry. Without delay, Chad began assaulting Jessica in the living room, with Scott, their three-year-old son, bravely intervening by positioning himself between their parents. According to Jessica’s account of what transpired at home, Chad then threw Scott off their bed before restraining her with an assault weapon. Upon reaching her breaking point, Jessica escaped with the children on September 6.
After their divorce, Jessica shared custody of their children with Joel “Chad” Graves, despite her initial misgivings regarding his potential mistreatment of them. Over time, Jessica found love again and eventually settled with her new family in Suffolk, Virginia. Scott expressed strong desires to return to Mississippi, where he spent significant time with his biological father. Although Jessica worried about this happening as it might cause Chad’s anger, it allowed Scott’s grandmother to protect him from living alongside Chad directly.
Jessica found solace when Scott assured her that he would spend most of his time with his grandmother. According to Jessica’s own account, he told her, “I want you to be OK with it,” but she never was. Chad reported to the police that he and Scott had engaged in an argument, with Scott allegedly punching Chad in the head before discovering Scott’s lifeless body in Stacey Graves’ bedroom. It eventually progressed into their living room, culminating with Chad asserting that his son had died during an argument over a shotgun.
Joel “Chad” Graves was found standing outside his apartment covered in blood when the police arrived on August 24. He was initially treated at a local facility before being transferred to Coast’s Veterans Affairs medical center for additional care. Chad claimed he had posttraumatic stress disorder and a disability pension. Police eventually tracked him down at this hospital on August 29, and two weeks later, he was taken into custody. Blood spatter evidence disproved Chad’s self-defense claim, while police also discovered shotgun pellets embedded into the baseboard, further complicating their case.
Prosecution of Joel “Chad” Graves
At a preliminary hearing held in 2018, Hattiesburg Police Detective Erik Herrin testified that Scott Graves had been lying on the ground when his father, Chad Graves, shot and killed him. Subsequently, Chad was indicted by a grand jury on second-degree murder charges. However, in March 2022, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges.
As a result of his guilty plea, Chad was sentenced to 20 years of incarceration, along with a fine of $10,000 and court fees totaling $200. Additionally, he must pay court fees of $200 every two months and assume full responsibility for them all. He is currently serving his time at Marshall County Correctional Facility (MCCF), with an expected release date sometime around 2020.