Accused Schena Murderer’s Haverhill Criminal Past Includes Arrests for Drugs, Passing Fake Money

Leedell Graham was arraigned in Haverhill District on June 28, 2019 on one count of murder for allegedly killing former Groveland building inspector Patsy Schena. (WHAV News photograph)

In the nine months before Haverhill’s Leedell Graham was arrested for the murder of former Groveland building inspector Patsy Schena, Haverhill Police picked him up on two separate occasions for dealing cocaine and passing a counterfeit $100 bill, WHAV can exclusively reveal.

While living on Beach Street in the city’s Mount Washington neighborhood, Graham was sentenced to six months behind bars after trying to use a fake $100 bill to purchase a “Natty Daddy” beer and Game Green Cigars at Riley’s Corner Market. According to Haverhill Police Officer Justin Graham (no relation), Graham said he found the bill while walking to the market. The eagle-eyed clerk knew right away it was a fake.

“The bill was of poor quality and the average person upon seeing the numerous Chinese symbols and inaccuracies of the counterfeit bill, as well as the feel of the paper, could tell the bill was counterfeit,” Officer Graham said in his police report from the incident on Sept. 4, 2018.

Three months later, on Dec. 15, 2018, the Haverhill Police Gang Unit encountered Graham in the midst of a drug deal on the city’s White Street. Originally charged with one count of drug distribution, Graham picked up another charge of defacing property when, according to Officer Adam Durkee, he “spit a white substance all over the rear seat and door of the police cruiser,” while being transported to the Bailey Boulevard station.

Graham, living on Portland Street at the time of that arrest, was ordered to spend six months behind bars for those offenses.

Both his September and December 2018 cases were heard by Haverhill District Court First Justice Stephen Abany, the same judge who ordered him held without bail on June 28 on one count of murder after Groveland Police say he brutally killed Schena.

A State Police investigation—coupled with evidence found by passersby less than a mile from Schena’s home—led officials to determine Schena’s death was the result of “blunt and sharp force trauma.” The murder weapon is believed to be a lamp.

The men are said to have known each other through business dealings not related to Schena’s former role as Groveland’s town building inspector, a role he held from 1979-2015.

Graham next appears in court in August.

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