‘She was acting out in self-defense’: Downtown Spokane rally calls for young woman’s freedom

SPOKANE, Wash. — People rallied in downtown Spokane Friday, calling for the charges against Maddesyn George to be dropped and for her freedom, despite her pleading guilty.

George, a Colville Tribe member, admitted in court she shot and killed Kristopher Graber last year on the Colville Reservation. However, she says she was afraid for her life because he allegedly sexually assaulted her the day before, but that wasn’t reported until after he was dead.

George could face up to 17 years in prison. She pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and possession of methamphetamine with the intention to distribute.

Those marching to the federal courthouse called for her freedom.

Her mom Jody believes her daughter had no choice.

“It hurt her badly that she had to kill somebody. She called me crying, like ‘mom, he’s dead,'” she said.

According to the court documents, George stole money and drugs from Graber and, took his gun while he was sleeping. The next day, she came back to a friend’s house on the reservation and Graber was looking for her, the document said.

Witnesses said he was confronting her for stealing his drugs, a gun and cash.

She said in court he came up to the car and asked for his stuff back. That’s when she grabbed his gun and shot him through the closed car window. Investigators said Graber only had a cigarette in his hand.

George claims it was in self-defense, telling the FBI Graber sexually assaulted her the day before.

“They didn’t do a rape kit, you know, and you’d think when a woman says, like when Maddy said, ‘I was raped,’ that they would’ve automatically did that,” Jody said. “I mean you would think, and I don’t understand why.”

No one at the rally argued that George didn’t kill Graber. They believe the sexual assault should be taken into consideration and should even be enough to drop the charges.

They want either the lightest possible sentence or the case to be dropped altogether.

“They’re trying to say that it never happened, which is not true, and so we’re just trying to get the word out that it did happen to her and they need to acknowledge her that she was acting out in self-defense,” Jody said.

George could face up to 17 years in prison because she has a criminal record with three felonies. Her defense is arguing for five years. Her sentencing won’t be until early next month.