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Affidavit spells out motive in shooting that claimed life of 26-year-old Leesburg man

Austin Clint Graham
Austin Clint Graham
James M Carlton
James Carlton

An affidavit of probable cause filed last week sheds new light on the fatal shooting of a man in rural Leesburg by the father of his girlfriend.

The accused killer, 57-year-old James Carlton, had been arrested June 22 on charges he shot 26-year-old Austin Graham.

An eyewitness saw Carlton shoot Graham near the intersection of Whitney Road and State Road 44 in rural Leesburg. Carlton fled the scene and headed to Marion County. Law enforcement officers from several jurisdictions converged on the County Line Smokehouse and Spirits on County 25 in Weirsdale, where Carlton was placed under arrest.

An affidavit of probable cause was filed last week in Lake County Court.

In an affidavit, a Lake County sheriff’s detective described statements made by Carlton while in custody. When the investigating deputies gave Carlton his Miranda warnings, Carlton responded by stating that he “pled the 5th,” according to the affidavit. The detective stopped the questioning at that point. Carlton then said he warned Graham that he was going to shoot him in the face. Carlton “continued to make comments indicating that he shot the victim due to previous behavior of the victim towards Carlton’s daughter.”

Graham was survived by his two children and his fiancé, Lauren Graham.

Carlton, who remains held without bond at the Lake County Jail, has been charged with first degree murder and is scheduled for arraignment on July 25.

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