Evading Arrest Nothing New to Kingsland Crash Victim

The crash happened on Kingsland near South Fry. Covering Katy photo

This story has been updated with confirmation on the substance found in the possession of McGraw after he died.

KATY (Covering Katy) – Almost one year to the day that James Patrick McGraw, 30, had his driving privileges restored following a drunk driving conviction, he died speeding away from a sheriff’s deputy in Katy.

“A baggie containing 5.3 grams of a black tar like substance was located,  and was submitted to the Institute Of Forensic Science for a testing,” Deputy Thomas Gilliland of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office told Covering Katy.

The report also says traffic camera video is being reviewed to learn more about the 3-mile route where McGraw was driving in excess of 90 miles-per-hour in a 30-mph zone. The deputy was caught in traffic and did not pursue, according to the report.

According to court records reviewed by Covering Katy, McGraw pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated after being arrested on February 28, 2015. He was ordered to serve 30 days in the Harris County Jail. His driver’s license was suspended for one year in March of 2015. The crash that took his life in Katy happened on March 12, 2017, just one year and 10 days after his driving privileges were restored.

McGraw’s familiarity with the legal system also includes a three-day stay in the Harris County Jail for his misdemeanor conviction of evading arrest. The incident happened on July 4, 2014. In addition to jail time, McGraw was also ordered to pay $349 in fines and court costs.

He was also convicted of criminal mischief in September of 2014.  Court records say he kicked a vehicle and caused between $50 and $100 in damage.

A memorial service for McGraw will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 25, 2017, at Schmidt Funeral Home ‘ Grand Parkway, with Rev. Chas Stevenson officiating. Reception will follow at Mo’s Place located at 21940 Kingsland Blvd, Katy, TX 77450.

Click to read our previous story on this case.

Covering Katy will continue our coverage of this case and provide results of the pending drug test being conducted on the substance found on McGraw’s body.

23 Comments

  1. Snide comments and judgments are inappropriate, especially when the family is grieving a much-loved son. In John 8:7, Jesus challenged the angry crowd, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone.” Everyone dropped their stones.

    We should examine our own hearts instead of others. Jesus also said in Matthew 7:1-2 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. “

  2. The real story that you are all overlooking in your rush to judge and condemn is the opioid epidemic that is destroying our youth. People like Christian Mcgraw, your neighbor! He was an average middle class Katy kid. If your children have ever been into skateboarding, hung out with skate boarders, or skated at the local skate parks, they probably knew him. Christian’s only crime was breaking his arm and going to the doctor. That’s how it started. Here we are 10 years later and he’s dead. I have read the vile comments made by some on multiple websites. Some of you have even said he deserved it. I’ll be attending his services this Saturday and I dare any of you smart asses to show up and spew your venom In person!

    New studies are showing that teen opioid addiction often starts with a trip to the doctor. Prescribing pain medication became the norm and was a recipe for disaster which has now blossomed into a full blown epidemic.

    “People addicted to opioids are 40 times more likely than others to abuse heroin, making the abuse of prescription opioid painkillers the strongest risk factor for heroin use, according to a new report.”

    “The findings highlight the strong relationship between heroin and opioid painkillers. Health officials say opioid abuse is one of the main drivers of the rapid increase in heroin use in recent years. Use of the drug in the United States increased more than 60 percent between 2002 and 2013.”

    Do a little research and ask the hard questions. Find the real story behind the sensationalism that gets clicks.

    This can happen to your loved one. You are not immune. We love you Christian. I wish we could have saved you. I’m sorry.

  3. Although, I despise the lying media, the local media as a rule, try to stick to the facts. That’s what they should stick to. Just the facts. Anything outside of the fact, is unprofessional and an unjust report for the community. I don’t see anything Covering Katy did inappropriate in their report. This, we must demand from our press/media. If we as a society can reveal stories that may save lives, even one life, revealing the facts of a terrible and tragic action is worth the report.

    Law Enforcement must purse anyone who flees. A non chase policy has been tried. It was a disaster. No one knows at the time the suspect begins to run, if he hadn’t just robbed a liquor store, the corner store, or murdered a dozen people.

    Those of you reading the news report, you or a loved one could have been the victim of a suspect who fees. I would say most of you would want of these suspects chased down and apprehended. If there’s no chase this suspect would have gotten away. I assure you, there would be a screaming public if no chase was ensued to catch the hijacker or murder suspect letting him get away, then go off and do the same thing over again. Another life lost. We must all remember, there are consequences in life and it’s part of life that bad things happen to good people.

    As it turns out, they possibly got a intoxicated or drugged driver off the street. With or without a pursuit, the driver could have gone further down the street and struck a child. No one knows. It’s a chance we all live with every day. The unknown.

    Based on my long experience in these types of investigations, the short run and loosing control of his vehicle, Mr. McGrew must have had some intoxicate in his body. I assure you, if the Covering Katy does their job correctly, the ME’s office will release the blood contend of his body at the appropriate time. At a minimum, he had illegal drugs in his vehicle and with his past history, he and he alone made the stupid decision to flee. The way I see this Mr. McGraw was lost years ago. He was one of those in a terrible situation where as a young boy, he was lost, where his luck was going to run out. My prays go to Mr McGraw’s soul and his family and friends. I’ve lost a family member to natural cause, whom I loved dearly, and it is one of the most difficult processes to experience. In this situation, even more difficult.

  4. That’s unnecessary QO – just let them grieve wherever they want to grieve. What’s the difference?

  5. No one doubts the hurt the family is experiencing – and will probably have forever.

    But again, nothing published here has been anything but factual. HE is the one that ran from police (not the first time); HE is the one that damaged public and personal property (not the first time); HE is the one that may have had have illegal drugs in his system or in his car (he had already lost his driving privileges previously for drunken driving). If anything published by CK was mis-information, then apologies should (and likely would) be given.

    In the end, as sad as this situation was caused by the Mr. McGraw – and just as easily could have been avoided altogether by Mr. McGraw as well. Don’t blame the paper for doing its journalistic duties – and doing them with the utmost objectivity.

  6. I’m really confused. Does someone’s death negate the BS they did while they were alive? He caused his own death and could have cause other deaths too. I don’t feel sorry for people who choose to drive drunk or otherwise intoxicated. This publication isn’t sharing slander or gossip, it’s sharing facts. The deceased should have been worried about hurting his family. That’s not the media’s problem.

  7. Jessica and Robert:

    You mean facts? In this case, facts that clearly contradict some of the claims made here at CK in the Comments section on the previous story. Yes this is a painful topic – but it’s clearly one of the public’s interest, and Covering Katy is only reporting facts. That’s something newspapers used to do daily – now not so much. Covering Katy is old-school in that regard – to criticize objective reporting is silly – especially when there’s so much media slanted in one way or the other.

  8. Thank you Dennis for reminding us what REAL journalism looks like – as we have read here and in the previous story, not everyone remembers exactly what professional reporting is all about.

  9. This is grotesque.
    Publishing a story as a follow up on the specifics of the brief and fatal chase would be expected, as Katy residents were in dismay over the chase happening close to homes.
    However, releasing his entire criminal record was completely unesscesary and disrespectful of the deceased & his family. Covering Katy went from news source to nothing but a piece of small-town gossip with this article.

    Here is some other information about Mr. McGraw: he was known for and admired for his talent as a skateboarder. He was a Katy ISD alum, & a Katy Tiger. He had many lifelong friends. These friends celebrate his soul & yes, grieve for his earthly struggles. He had a loving family, including a son, who are heartbroken.
    I doubt they appreciate this piece which sought to paint him as nothing but a criminal & insinuated his death was some how for the best.
    Tragic accident. Rest In Peace.

  10. The article appeared in the Chronicle so Covering Katy is not doing anything wrong, just reporting what was already reported. Further investigation and publication is a good thing. We the residents of Katy need to know what is going on in our neighborhoods and what I kind of people are living near us. The best way to stay out of the news is to obey the laws and keep a low profile these days.

  11. Wow! An honest news organization performing actual journalism that involves at a minimum:

    1. Accusations of inappropriate conduct by law enforcement officers in terms of a ‘chase policy’.

    2. Reckless and callous conduct by an individual who placed the lives of other citizens in grave danger even if he didn’t end up killing someone else.

    Whether the family in its tragedy understandably wants this to not receive additional publicity (which of our families would?), Dennis is making the professional journalistic decision to ask questions of government to which every resident of this community has a vested need to know the answers.

    Requesting the audio transmissions and dashboard video will go a long way in describing the conduct of both parties – the officer (thus the department) and the man who died.

    Was there a better way to handle such a situation on Kingsland Blvd. during the daytime hours?

    Those in this community who believe that only an internal investigation by the department in question free from public scrutiny is the best way for the public to get the answers it deserves have interests at heart that go beyond a genuine, independent analysis of public safety and the role that genuine journalism plays in the protecting the public.

    While there are times in the past that I have questioned law enforcement’s ‘chase’ practices in general, I have zero idea this time that allows me to make a judgment.

    As one who travels that stretch of road – like many in Katy – many times every week, I want to understand the circumstances from a policy and implementation standpoint. Dennis owes no apology to anyone for doing his job.

    Given the exact circumstances, if I were still in the news business, I would not stop until I had the answers for the public that has a legitimate vested interest in knowing the answers. In truth, it is actually stunning that he is taking any heat over this.

  12. A reception at Mo’s Place, a bar? How fitting. Seems the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

  13. Yes, it is true that all criminals have families. But this man (30 years old) was evidently tried to evade yet more such consequences for his actions. I would bet if he had run over a group of 4 year old children the public comments wouldn’t be so forgiving and thinking of the family. He didn’t have to run and put the public in danger. But he thought of himself and himself only and he paid for it with his life. You people condemning this news organization for doing their job and informing the public that there are people out there like this need to wake up. Do you think his family didn’t know he was a criminal? I didn’t see the accusations they levied, and I’m assuming they were against the Police Dept., But, why is the PD fault that he ran? Again, they were doing their job. It’s always someone else’s fault in today’s society.

  14. You are correct. There have been a lot of accusation made in this case so we’re looking at the record. We will also be attempting to clear up whether the officer chased the victim of this crash or simply turned on his lights and the victim took off.

    On Monday Covering Katy will do a freedom of information request for the deputy’s dashboard video and radio conversations with dispatch. We will report what we find no matter what the video shows.

    We’re not taking sides in this case, we’re simply listening to the accusation being made by the family and the public and searching for answers.

    Its shocking to me that people will make accusations and then become upset when we investigate those accusations and publish our findings. This search for answers was started because the family and the public came to this website and made claims.

    There will be at least one more story, maybe more.

  15. A lot of people were asking why this happened, probably why Covering Katy posted the follow up story.

  16. Mr./Ms. Gray

    Mr. McGraw put the general public at great risk by running from police. This isn’t his first run-in with the law – and not even his first time running from police. Yes, the family is hurting and some have even lashed out at the police and others here at Covering Katy (mostly about the police “unfairly” harassing him for not obeying the law). However, it’s still a very rare event for something like this to happen, so it’s going to be covered – though at this point, I don’t see much more follow-up being necessary (or done) other than the results of the toxicology testing = and that IS the public’s right to know, considering how much public destruction was done (it’s already been published that he apparently had unused heroin still in the car).

  17. I couldn’t agree more. What a shame that Katy would feel the need to put this information out there.

  18. Please don’t post anymore on this tragedy. Is it truly news worthy to tell people how many drugs were in his system. Please think of the poor family. They are hurting enough & it won’t serve any purpose to further their agony. I’m sure they will be told but does it really be put out in public. Thank you

  19. This is still a really sad story from many sides and the hurt from this will probably never go away from the family side.

    On the other side, it’s much clearer why he ran in the first place. I’m just glad that he didn’t hurt anyone else in his getaway – I don’t want to imagine how much worse this situation could be had he injured/killed any innocent parties.

    Let’s hope this is a lesson to everyone – running from police is never a good idea. There’s an old saying that some of you may remember: When you’re in trouble, it’s best to stand up and take your medicine right now – the consequences are usually much worse when you try to avoid them or put them off.

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