New details have been made public regarding the Jessica Padgett murder case. The most recent revelation is that the assailant and Padgett’s stepfather, Gregory Graf, videotaped himself having sex with Padgett’s corpse after he shot her. According to Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli, the recording was recovered from Graf’s computer. Morganelli said that the video, which is now in possession of state police, offers evidence supporting Graf’s statement when he was arrested for homicide last month. “He videotaped it,” Morganelli said, “so there’s a videotape of him abusing the corpse sexually.”
Morganelli believes that necrophilia was the main motive in Padgett’s murder, and that’s the argument they’ll be pursuing in court. Morganelli will be filing an abuse of corpse charge against Graf, although it means they won’t be able to seek the death penalty due to the charge being a misdemeanor. “It is not a capital case. We’ve reviewed the aggravating factors,” the DA told presiding judge Stephen Baratta during a court hearing.
During the same hearing, Graf applied for a public defender but was denied because of his wealth. Graf said in court that he didn’t want to burden his family financially, but the judge rejected the application saying that Graf had enough money to pay for his own defense.
Padgett was a mother of three who recently married Michael Padgett back in September. Padgett’s body was discovered on November 26 on Graf’s property. When he was arrested, Graf admitted to shooting Padgett and burying her body on his estate. Padgett was last seen on November 21st when she left her workplace, Duck Duck Goose Child Care, for her lunch break.
Morganelli told reporters that he had spoken to Jessica’s husband, Michael, about the details of the case including the existence of the videotape. He also said that the abuse of corpse charge will be filed on Monday, December 8.