Teen charged with murder had troubled past

by: Tina Terry Updated:

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CHESTER, S.C. —

Eyewitness News learned new information Saturday about the past of a teenager charged with murder. 

Robert Graham, 17, was charged Friday with killing a 16-year old teen from Chester.

His family told Channel 9 that Graham had a troubled childhood and had already been arrested 18 times as a juvenile. 

Police couldn’t release those records to us, but family members said two of those arrests were for assaulting his own mother.

"I've said it for year she need help. He need help,” said Randy Hardin, the suspect’s uncle.

Graham’s uncle wasn’t surprised to hear about the murder charge against his nephew.

Police said Graham shot and killed 16-year old Shyheim Kennedy Wednesday near Pickney Street in Chester. They said the victim had been walking to a neighborhood store for food, but they haven’t released a motive or said what may have led up to the shooting. Graham’s family said he didn’t know Kennedy at all.

"I knew one day it would happen.  She’s been begging for help for him for years and years,” said Hardin.

Graham’s family said he had a history of behavioral and mental health issues.  They said he was bipolar and wasn’t taking medication.  His mother said he’d recently become more violent and said, “he was losing his mind.”

Criminal records we found show Graham was arrested on drug charges in April and June, and Friday police arrested him for a probation violation.

Family members said police didn’t start investigating him for his involvement in the shooting until after the latest arrest, but police wouldn’t confirm that.

Officers said they’d release more information on Monday.