Details unfold in weekend shooting

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Denton County sheriff’s investigators have identified the victims in an alleged attempted murder-suicide in an area town over the weekend.

Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched at 11:17 p.m. to the 1300 block of Oakcrest Drive in Providence Village on Saturday after receiving a 911 hang-up call. Arriving deputies heard gunshots from within the home, according to a sheriff’s report.

Donald Benjamin Graham, 48, is alleged to have shot his wife, Debra Cotton, 48, multiple times before shooting himself in the mouth, said officials working the case.

Cotton was found by deputies still alive and surrounded by a pool of blood. Graham was found dead in the hallway of their home with a 38-caliber Taurus revolver, investigators said.

Cotton was taken by CareFlite air ambulance to Parkland Medical Center in Dallas and underwent surgery Sunday morning.

“She is in critical but stable condition,” said sheriff’s Capt. Tracy Murphree.

He said the shooting looks to have come from a long-term domestic situation. The couple is believed to be common-law married.

Further investigation into the shooting shows Graham was in prison on a homicide charge for nine years, Murphree said.

“I believe it was a homicide charge out of Dallas County in 2000 and he received probation,” Murphree said. “His probation was revoked and he spent nine years in prison and just got out this summer.”

Cotton’s 23-year-old special-needs daughter, whose name is being withheld at this time, was at the residence at the time of the shooting and made the 911 call. She was not harmed and is staying with family, said sheriff’s officials.

The shooting is the second such incident in Providence Village, a town located north of U.S. Highway 380 East, in less than two months.

On Nov. 5, sheriff’s deputies discovered the bodies of 29-year-old Nelson Rafael Rodriguez-Doran and 27-year-old Christina Marie Allen when they responded to a welfare concern call at a house in the 10200 block of Lakeview Drive.

They found the couple inside, both dead from gunshot wounds.

Investigators say they believe Rodriguez-Doran shot Allen multiple times in the body and once in the head with a semiautomatic pistol before shooting himself in the head.

The bodies were found in the master bedroom. Allen was on the bed, and Rodriguez-Doran was on the floor, said officials.

Murphree said the latest investigation is still ongoing and he will talk to Cotton in the next few days when she is able.

The couple was renting and it’s unknown how long they have been living at the residence at this time, Murphree said.

MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is mgray@dentonrc.com .


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