Three years after Edward E. Graf Jr. pleaded guilty to killing his two adopted stepsons in 1986, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has removed him from the Super-Intensive Supervision Program and will vote Monday to allow him to remove a GPS ankle monitor he has worn since his release from prison.
Raymond Estrada, spokesman for the parole board, confirmed Friday that the board plans to allow Graf to remove the GPS monitor provided there are no violations since Graf was removed from the intensive supervision program on Dec. 20.
Jason Clark, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, said Graf “had no significant issues” while he was in the Super-Intensive Supervision Program, has maintained steady employment and has remained at a residence in Kerrville.
Graf’s ex-wife, Clare Bradburn, her family and friends waged an aggressive campaign in November 2016 when Graf previously requested that the ankle monitor be removed. The board voted then to reject the request after a flood of letters and emails from Bradburn and others hit their offices.
Bradburn said Friday that they mounted another letter-writing campaign last year when they were notified that the board was considering allowing Graf to remove the GPS monitor. A criminal justice department victims’ services worker told Bradburn the board was “overwhelmed” with the number of emails and letters it received protesting the removal of the device.
“We are just going to sit back and be patient and see what happens with the board vote,” Bradburn said Friday, deferring additional comment until after Monday’s vote.
Bradburn told the Tribune-Herald in 2016 that it is frustrating to have to fight the battle each year. But it is one she will continue because she feels strongly that Graf remains a threat to her and her family and possibly others.
“Ed Graf committed the ultimate heinous crime of burning two children alive. How much worse could it be? And he wants to be free of having to submit his daily activities and not wear the device?” Bradburn said in November 2016.
Graf, 65, was sentenced to 60 years in prison in October 2014 and will be on parole until 2048. He was released on mandatory parole seven days after he pleaded guilty in 2014 to starting a fire in a shed behind his Hewitt residence in which his adopted stepsons, Jason and Joby, were killed.
While Graf’s defense attorneys, Walter M. Reaves Jr., Russ Hunt and Michelle Tuegel, were aware that Graf would be released on mandatory parole soon after his return to prison, McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna, who negotiated the plea deal with Graf, apparently was not.
Reyna told Bradburn, the court and jurors that Graf would have to serve at least 21/2 years more in prison before he became eligible again for parole and he pledged that his office vigorously would oppose his release.
Instead, Graf walked out of prison in a week and was paroled to Kerrville, where he has worked for a construction company.
Graf served 25 years in prison after his 1988 conviction in the deaths of the boys before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals awarded Graf a new trial in March 2013, ruling the arson evidence at his first trial was flawed. He was given credit for the 25 years he served plus he received good-time credits, which resulted in his mandatory release.
As a condition of his parole, Graf was placed in the Super-Intensive Supervision Program and ordered to wear the GPS ankle monitor. Graf has travel restrictions and has been forbidden from entering or living in certain counties, including McLennan, Denton, Dallas, Harris, Wichita and Henderson counties.
Reaves said he thinks the monitor already should have been removed.
“I never thought it was justified in the first place,” Reaves said. “He is not going to do anything, other than try to live his life. I don’t think he is a threat, and the last thing that I think he would ever do is go anywhere near (Bradburn).”