Cousin arraigned in murder of Russell County teen - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Cousin arraigned in murder of Russell County teen

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Christian Grissom, accused of killing his 19-year-old cousin in Russell County on August 8, made his first Alabama court appearance Friday after returning from New York. Christian Grissom, accused of killing his 19-year-old cousin in Russell County on August 8, made his first Alabama court appearance Friday after returning from New York.

Christian Grissom, the man accused of murdering his second cousin Keonte Chavis before fleeing to New York, made his first court appearance in a Russell County courtroom Friday. Grissom is facing a murder charge for the August 8 killing of 19-year-old Keonte Chavis.

In court Friday, Grissom was given a one million dollar bond before being escorted back out of the courthouse. Earlier this week, Russell County Sheriff Department officials brought Grissom back to Alabama after he was found at his mother's house in Ulster County, New York.

> August 13, 2014: Russell County murder suspect returning to Alabama

Keonte Chavis, 19, was reported missing Friday morning after disappearing while out with Grissom the night earlier, Russell County Sheriff Health Taylor said Monday. Family members say Grissom, 29, arrived home alone after an afternoon and night out with Chavis, telling their grandparents he had dropped her off hours earlier. He went with them to file the missing persons report with Phenix City police before fleeing the state.

> August 11, 2014: Sheriff talks about missing teen murder investigation

Investigators say Grissom strangled his cousin early Friday before he dumped her body in the wooded area instead of dropping her off in a South Phenix City neighborhood like he claimed. Taylor says he then fled to New York, and was, in fact, on the run from a prior domestic violence charge in Florida. Taylor reports there is a warrant for Grissom in Jacksonville, where he failed to appear for a court hearing.

On Monday, family members told WRBL News 3's Jessi Mitchell they suspected Grissom was involved in Chavis' disappearance and death.

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