Stephen Grant Guilty

In their third day of deliberations, the jury found Stephen Grant guilty of second-degree murder in the death of his wife Tara. Grant wasn’t denying he’d killed her — just after the jury was seated and just before opening statements began, he pleaded guilty to dismembering her body — but rather the trial would decide the degree of his guilt: The prosecution wanted a verdict of first-degree murder, for which the jury would have had to believe the killing was premeditated, and which would have sent Grant to prison for life. The defense wanted a verdict of manslaughter, meaning Grant didn’t necessarily intend to kill her at all, and which carries a maximum of 15 years in prison.

Second-degree murder carries a potential sentence of pretty much anywhere in between. Sentencing is scheduled for February 21. (more…)


”Tara, you better pick up your phone…”

”Tara, next time I call you, you better pick up your phone. Do not hit ignore. It is absolute bull—- you don’t call me or the kids. It’s bull—-. Call me or the kids. I know you’re mad. You travel too much. It’s not right. Just call me.”

As the prosecution concluded its case today, the jury heard a series of increasingly belligerant messages Stephen Grant left on his wife Tara’s cell phone — after he’d murdered her. Presumably the point of this evidence is to illustrate premeditation on Stephen’s part. (more…)

A Tale of Two Girlfriends

Amber FreyEverybody knows Amber Frey, the woman who was briefly Scott Peterson’s lover. Frey believed Peterson’s claim that he was a widower and shortly after Laci’s “disappearance” realized who Scott really was and helped police gather evidence against him.

Frey will wear a Scarlet Letter to her grave.

Verena DierkesVerena Dierkes is somewhat less of a household word. Does her German name merely not roll off the tongue as easily? Does the media have some other reason to deny her Frey’s level of notoriety?

This is what Dierkes did to earn hers: As the 19-year-old au pair (nanny) to the Grants’ children, she began an affair with Stephen Grant shortly before he killed his wife Tara. She testified yesterday that she spent the night before Tara’s death in Stephen and Tara’s bed with Stephen (Tara was away on a business trip). (more…)