Lottery ticket
Lottery Winner May Have Been Poisoned Creative Commons

A Brunswick County man, who previously won $10 million in the lottery, was convicted on Friday for first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon in connection to the 2020 fatal shooting of his girlfriend.

Michael Todd Hill, 54, who previously won $10 million in a scratch-off ticket in 2017, was taken into custody in Southport on Nov. 23, 2020, after shooting Keonna Graham in the back of the head while she was lying in a hotel room bed.

The 23-year-old Graham of Navassa was reported missing by her mother on July 20, 2020. Her body was then found in SureStay Hotel in Shallotte with a gunshot wound in the back of the head. In a news release from the 15th Prosecutorial District of North Carolina, prosecutors said that surveillance footage from the hotel showed Hill, of Leland, as the primary suspect as he was the only individual in the room with her.

During the time of the incident, a hotel manager stated that Hill was the one who checked in, and none of the employees had seen Graham, according to WECT. Housekeeping found the body after Hill did not check out.

"She was very loved and she's very beautiful," said Tiffany Wilson. She added that Graham is her cousin's daughter. "It scares me because it's in my circle that someone knows her and I don't know him, but it's in my circle that people know him. And that's what frightens me." "I think it's horrible," said Wilson. "I mean, he just won the lottery. I heard he just got married and you go and kill a young girl? A beautiful girl? I don't understand."

Hill reportedly confessed to murdering Graham after finding text messages from other men while staying at the hotel. He stated he and Graham were in a romantic relationship for a year and a half after winning his lottery ticket.

Hill was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder charge and a concurrent 22 to 36 months for possession of a firearm by a felon. He is currently in the Brunswick County Detention Center. According to District Attorney Jon David, Hill was given a court-appointed attorney after filling out an affidavit of indigency. He is described as a nuclear power plant worker and said he intended to use his lump-sum winnings of over $4,159,000, after taxes, to pay off bills and help his wife's business.

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