Warrant: Alleged murder in Sandy occurred after argument about money, drugs

Posted at 3:59 PM, Jan 08, 2015

SANDY, Utah – Police have released a search warrant that offers more insight into the events leading up to the murder of Candice Melo, who was shot and killed in Sandy December 18.

Police responded to the area of 343 East Gary Avenue December 18, and when they arrived they found the 26-year-old victim in the driveway of the home; Melo had been shot at least three times and died due to her injuries.

The search warrant released recently states a neighbor was contacted when police arrived, and that man stated he was outside and saw three people fleeing from the residence at 343 East while being followed by a fourth person. The witness stated that man pointed the gun at the fleeing people and fired between five and six shots.

The witness saw one person fall to the ground, and the other two got into a car and fled the scene. The witness pointed the suspect out to police. That man was later identified as Larry Kent Graff.

When police approached, Graff put his hands in the air and stated that he was the one who shot “her”, according to the search warrant.

According to statements from witnesses, the victim and two men were staying at the home, and another female witness was staying at the home with Graff. The male witness said the two women began arguing about exchanging methamphetamine for a cell phone as well as an alleged debt. At one point, the female witness pointed a gun at Melo.

The witnesses stated Melo told the other woman she was taking a computer and maybe some cell phones to satisfy the alleged debt, and that’s when the woman staying with Graff told Graff the pair was stealing their property.

Graff came into the room and pointed a gun at Melo and the male witness as they left the house. Graff pursued and fired several shots, according to the warrant. Melo was struck, and the male witness fell to the ground in an attempt to convince Graff that he had been shot.

Graff approached, pointed a gun at the prone man and then turned around and went back inside.

Police arrived a short time later, and Melo was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Graff was taken into custody.

A search warrant was executed, and the following items were recovered: Two handguns, one shotgun, drug paraphernalia, two handgun magazines, two handgun cases, one handgun holster, one handgun box, one gun cleaning kit, one cell phone, 12 rounds of 9mm ammunition and three rounds for a shotgun. Police also took fraudulent documents found in the home.

Graff has been charged with one count of murder and one count of attempted murder, which are first and second-degree felonies respectively.

Related stories:

Police: Victim in Sandy shooting has died; suspect behind bars
Listen: 9111 calls from Sandy shooting released