Stephen Grant Sentenced to 50 Years for Gruesome Murder of Wife Tara
Atlanta, GA 2/21/2008 11:20 PM GMT (WooEB)
Stephen Grant was sentenced Thursday to serve at least 50 years in jail for killing and dismembered his wife.
According to the Associated Press, Grant choked his wife, Tara, to death, then cut up her corpse in a machine shop. After the killing, he tearfully told reporters he wasn't involved in her disappearance.
A jury found him guilty in December of second-degree murder. Prosecutors had sought a first-degree murder conviction, but the jury could not unanimously agree that Grant's actions were premeditated.
The defense was seeking a sentence of 15 to 25 years. However, Macomb County Circuit Judge Diane Druzinski agreed with the prosecution recommendation of a sentence of 50 to 80 years for the killing.
The judge called Grant's actions "demonic, manipulative, barbaric and dishonest." Grant also received six to 10 years for mutilating the body, to run concurrently with the longer sentence.
Grant contacted the Macomb County sheriff's department on Feb. 14, 2007, and said he had not seen his 34-year-old wife, an operations manager for a large construction firm, since they argued Feb. 9 about her frequent business trips overseas.
On March 2, after allowing deputies with a search warrant inside his home, Grant borrowed a friend's pickup truck and drove away. The deputies found Tara Grant's torso in a container in the garage.
Authorities picked up Grant's trail by tracking cell phone calls that led them to Wilderness State Park, more than 200 miles north. He was found hiding under a tree and wearing only a shirt, slacks and socks in 14-degree weather.
During the trial, a jury heard a graphic, three-hour recorded confession Grant gave while being treated for frostbite and hypothermia at a hospital. They also heard testimony from Verena Dierkes, 20, the Grants' nanny, who said she had sex with Grant the night before he strangled his wife.
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