2019-11-14 03:10:30 UTC
Woman dies after February assault, carjacking in North Charleston
Angie Jackson ***@postandcourier.com
A West Ashley woman has died several months after police said she was assaulted while giving a ride to a family member of a fellow churchgoer in February.
Diane Marie Cothran died of her injuries Wednesday at Vibra Hospital in Mount Pleasant, according to the Charleston County Coroner’s Office. Loved ones said the attack had left her paralyzed.
Her death was deemed a homicide.
North Charleston Police Department spokesman Spencer Pryor said investigators are consulting with prosecutors to determine whether a pending attempted murder charge against the suspect, 41-year-old Samuel Travino Graham, will be upgraded to murder.
Samuel Graham. Cannon Detention Center/Provided
Graham, of O’Hear Avenue in North Charleston, is also charged with carjacking. He was arrested three days after the Feb. 18 assault.
That night, an officer on patrol came across a wounded Cothran lying partially in the road on St. Johns Avenue. The 60-year-old was semi-conscious and bleeding from her ear, according to an incident report. She complained of chest pain.
Cothran was having trouble breathing but managed to tell the officer that she had helped a woman from her church in North Charleston by giving her brother a ride. She said she was hit with a stun gun and pushed out of her Honda CRV.
Officers recovered her car that night nearby in the area of Florida Avenue and Ubank Street. Police detained Graham and a woman inside the vehicle.
Investigators determined that Graham had asked the victim for a ride and beat her up during the ride, Pryor said.
Graham is being held in jail on $100,000 bond, according to court records.
State Law Enforcement Division records show his criminal history in South Carolina includes convictions of assault and battery, possession of a stolen vehicle and burglary, among others.
His most recent arrest was the day after the assault in February, when North Charleston police picked him up for driving under suspension.
Cothran’s brother, Mark Flory of Titusville, Fla., said Thursday he was troubled by Graham’s criminal history and hoped that Graham remains in jail on the current charges.
For several months before the attack, Flory said Cothran brought meals and Christmas presents to Graham’s sister after meeting her at church. Cothran worked as a caregiver and liked to help the elderly and people who lived alone.
“Just the way that it happened just makes it so much worse,” Flory said.
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