Heavy sentence given for mutilating wife

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grant_stephen.jpgA Mount Clemens, Michigan man who was convicted of the second-degree murder/dismemberment of his wife received a sentence of at least 50 years behind bars last Thursday.

A jury that was unable to unanimously agree that Stephen Grant's actions were premeditated, spared the 38 year old a charge of first –degree murder last December.

Macomb County Crcuit Judge Diane Druzinski, agreed with the prosecution's recommendation of a 50 – 80 year sentence for the killing and called Grant's actions of not only choking his wife Tara to death, but then following up by cutting her corpse up in a machine shop, "demonic, manipulative, barbaric and dishonest."

An additional 10 years were added for mutilating the body and it is to run concurrently with the longer sentence.

What was most amazing for the judge, who made note of Grant's façade while handing down her sentence, was the way he went so far as to grieve in public, crying on television camera, begging for his wife to come home; after he had already killed her.

He is "evil personified," prosecutor, Eric Smith said, as he fought the defence's argument for a 15 – 25 year sentence.

Macomb County Sheriff's department reported during his trial that; on February 14, 2007 Grant contacted them saying his 34 year old wife, who worked as an Operations Manager for a construction firm, was missing. He told them that the last time he saw her was on February 9 when they had argued about her frequent business trips.

The following month deputies served Grant with a search warrant for his home and after letting the officers in, he borrowed a friends pickup truck and drove away.

A guilty conscience took over Grant, whose wife's torso was found by the deputies, in a container in the garage.

Knowing the deputies would discover his gruesome and wicked works, Grant hid in Wilderness State Park and was found hiding under a tree, wearing only a shirt, slacks and socks in freezing weather.

Evidence presented during the trial included a graphic 3 hour confession given by Grant while being treated for frostbite and hypothermia at a hospital. Testimony at trial time also came from the Grants' nanny, who testified that Grant had sex with her the night before strangling his wife.

Stone-faced - Grant showed little emotion during the sentencing, and seemed a little troubled when Tara's sister, Alicia Standerfer spoke of the current struggles the Grants' 2 children are enduring. She said, "he is Satan in the flesh...I don't believe he loved Tara or his children."

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