A pioneering Kentucky prosecutor dies of a head injury while hay down on a farm


Louisville, Kentucky — Mikel Grafton, one of the first two female prosecutors at the US Public Prosecutor’s Office in the Western Kentucky District, has died, a pioneering lawyer praised for her enthusiasm and compassion.

She was 69 years old.

Grafton died on Tuesday at the University of Louisville Hospital. According to her ex-husband William McMurray, who was practicing the law, the day after she fell and hit her head while unloading a hay bag from a pickup truck on a 13-acre farm in Prospect. ..

He said she might have fainted before the fall after she worked easily most of the night.

As a federal prosecutor from 1978 to 1983, Grafton attempted cases of immigration fraud, white-color fraud, bank robbery, and illegal drug plots.

Lawyer Mikel Grafton

Lawyer Mikel Grafton

McMurray said he had filed as many as 10 proceedings against legendary defense lawyer Frank Hadad and won all of them.

“She was a tough, hard-drive woman and a good lawyer,” McMurray said.

In a Facebook post, a fellow lawyer paid tribute to her.

Commonwealth lawyer Tom Wein said she was a “super smart lawyer” and a “very good person.”

Al Wales, a lawyer who worked with her in several cases, said: She successfully carried a torch from a family of excellent lawyers. She was a good friend. “

“Mikkel was a good person, very smart and a great lawyer,” said Douglas Farnsley, former president of the Kentucky Bar Association.

After graduating from the University of Kentucky Law School, Grafton trained in Florida, Indiana, and Kentucky.

She and McMurray married in 1981 and had two sons, who later divorced but remained friends. She attended his practice eight years ago.

In 2011, she helped win a $ 287,000 settlement for Metro Animal Service Manager, who said she was a victim of sexual harassment and retaliation by director Gilles Meloche, who was forced to resign.

Earlier this year, Grafton Kentucky retirement system filed proceedings After finding a family law lawyer, he tried to recover medical expenses from his client, retired firefighter Kevin Brown, but Judge Darwin Webb failed his wife’s divorce and legally married Brown. I didn’t.

The judge decided that it was “conscientious” and “meaningless” when the retirement plan refused to let Brown designate a female as a spouse’s beneficiary after the error was discovered.

Grafton also represented the former Bookkeeper of the Church of St. Therese who said the Archdiocese of Louisville had fired her It allowed the priest to live there while he was being investigated for molesting a child after she complained.

Rev. James Shuk was later convicted and sentenced to imprisonment. The Archdiocese later said that the parish could not afford to pay her.

Grafton was the daughter of the late Arthur W. Grafton Senior, a former Senator, and a partner of the old Wyatt Grafton & Slos company, which later became Wyatt Tarant & Combs.

In an interview, Grafton, whose first name was pronounced “Michael,” said she was given her mother’s maiden name and received notifications from a draft board that she thought she was a man during the Vietnam War.

“I wrote it as” NA “and sent it back. And they never contacted me again, “Grafton said.

She said her boyish name didn’t bother her from “I’m having an embarrassing year — 13-17”.

“We make children unhappy by trying to be innovative,” she said.

Andrew Wolfson: 502-582-7189; [email protected]; Twitter: @adwolfson.

This article was originally published in the Louisville Courier Journal: A pioneering federal prosecutor in Kentucky dies in a farm accident