NC Lottery Winner Sentenced to Life for Murdering Girlfriend

Okay, now we may have heard about bad things happening to former Lottery winners…a “Lottery Curse,” if you will. However, even this is a lot.

You may remember hearing about 54-year-old Leland resident Michael Hill, who won a staggering $10 million off of a scratch-off lottery ticket. At the time, he said, “I saw the one and then the zero and it still didn’t hit me. But then I saw the ‘M’. My heart dropped down to my toes and I lost my breath.”

Well now, instead of living life comfortably with a few extra zeros in his account, Hill will spend the rest of his days in his prison cell. Today (May 31), the Raleigh News & Observer reports that he was sentenced to life without parole, after being convicted of murdering his girlfriend.

The victim, identified as 23-year-old Keonna Graham, was in a relationship with Hill for about a year before family reported her missing on July 20, 2020. Later, she was found dead of a gunshot wound to the back of the head, at the SureStay Hotel in Shallotte, about 40 miles southwest of Wilmington.

Prosecutors of the 15th Prosecutorial District of North Carolina said in a news release, “Surveillance footage from the hotel showed Hill as the only individual in the hotel room with Graham. Hill was later arrested by law enforcement in Southport, North Carolina and confessed to shooting Graham after she had been texting other men while at the hotel.”

Hill has been found guilty of first degree murder and felony firearm possession on May 27. In addition to mandatory life without parole, he also received a concurrent sentence of 22-36 months for the weapons charge.

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