THE STORY: Deke Winters has returned to the small town outside of Pittsburgh where he grew up in an attempt to reclaim his life. For many years he was a high-powered lawyer for the Mob in Philadelphia, where he twisted the truth to free guilty clients, tried cases in the media and was often paid in cocaine. The years he spent on top have taken a tremendous toll on him: He has lost his wife, his fortune and he has forgone all custody rights to his six-year-old daughter. Now, all he wants to do is put the high-profile cases behind him, live a decent life and practice simple, boring law. But the first case to come along is a terrible murder and sexual assault, in which Deke must defend Kenny, a fifteen-year-old boy who has admitted to killing a thirteen-year-old girl. Deke’s reticence in handling the case is compounded by the fact that his oldest and best friend, Vince, is now the chief of police in the town. Kenny is a particularly sick young man, but in talking with him Deke discovers that Vince did not read Kenny his rights until after the boy confessed to the killing. Kenny is guilty, but Deke can get him off on a technicality. Deke is torn between his recent vow to stay honest and follow the law—which would free a murderer and get his best friend thrown off of the police force, or lying—which would protect his friend and put a dangerous man behind bars. But lying is what Deke came home to get away from, and he feels he must tell the truth, even if it means terrible consequences. In the end, Kenny does get off. Forced out of his job, Vince also moves away, and Deke is left haunted by his choice.
MINOR DEMONS is a chilling tale of murder in a small Pennsylvania town and its after effects. This gripping play examines a tragic clash between a hurtful truth and an expedient lie. “MINOR DEMONS is major drama. [It] is the kind of play that reminds us why we build theaters.” —Arizona Republic, who gave the play five stars. “Graham writes in an old-fashioned style that includes carefully developed characters and a well-structured plot. He also creates nice contrasts among many roles and has a knack for naturalistic comic one-liners.” —Variety. “Graham exposes the thin line between those who run and those who stay and fight and the price they pay for victory.” —News of Delaware County.