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Monday, December 17, 2007

Mayor's daughter pleads guilty

Kai Franklin Graham, 35, daughter of Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, pleaded guilty this morning in South Carolina to a federal charge of "structuring financial transactions" to avoid detection.

The charges stem from an investigation of Franklin's former husband, Tremayne Graham, who pleaded guilty for his leadership role in a cocaine operation affiliated with the Black Mafia Family. Graham received a life sentence, and has been identified as a suspect in the murder of co-defendant Ulysses Hackett and Hackett's girlfriend, 24-year-old Spelman graduate Misty Carter, in 2004. They were gunned down while sleeping in Carter's Highland Avenue townhome.

Kai Graham agreed to cooperate fully with the federal investigation, and she must pass a polygraph. If she complies fully, she will spend three months in home confinement and three years on probation.

Mayor Franklin arrived at the federal courthouse in Greenville, S.C., with her daughter, and was in the courtroom during the hearing. She declined to comment after the hearing.

Court records identify Tremayne Graham as a "major drug dealer" with close ties to multistate cocaine empire the Black Mafia Family and related drug ring the Sin City Mafia. Graham, along with 12 other defendants, is accused of moving at least 500 kilograms of cocaine from California to Atlanta, where most of the defendants lived. The cocaine was then allegedly delivered to Greenville. When Graham disappeared in late October 2004, he was out on bond under the condition that he be confined to the $630,000 Marietta home he shared with his wife. But after he cut his ankle monitor and fled, Kai Franklin Graham divorced her husband, who turned up in California a month after the divorce was final.

CL's Mara Shalhoup will have a full report of the hearing later this afternoon.

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