Man Arraigned In Killing, Dismembering Of Wife

Tuesday, March 6th 2007, 12:55 pm

By: News On 6

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) _ A man who police say killed his wife in their suburban Detroit home, then disposed of her remains in a park, was arraigned Tuesday on charges of first-degree murder and dismemberment of a body.

Stephen Grant, 37, was ordered held without bond. Judge Denis LeDuc entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

Grant was captured Sunday after a chase deep in Michigan's wintery woods. He entered court in a wheelchair Tuesday, a day after being released from a hospital, where he was treated for frostbite and hypothermia.

Police say Grant offered a graphic confession about the killing of his wife, Tara Lynn Grant, after three weeks of steadfastly maintaining his innocence.

Grant had no attorney at the arraignment. David Griem, a lawyer who had acted as Grant's spokesman, said Sunday he no longer would represent Grant because of irreconcilable differences. The judge said he would appoint a lawyer for Grant.

Autopsy results suggest Tara Grant was strangled on Feb. 9. Her remains showed signs of a struggle, including neck bruises, the medical examiner said. Her body was dismembered at a tool and die shop where Stephen Grant worked, authorities said.

Grant told investigators he killed Grant at their home last month while the couple's two young children were believed to be asleep. The Grants have a 6-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy, who have been staying with relatives.

At a child custody hearing for the Grant children on Tuesday afternoon, a Macomb County juvenile court referee suspended Stephen Grant's parental rights and placed them under the supervision of the Michigan Department of Human Services.

Prosecutor Eric Smith has said that the DHS wants the children to live with Tara Grant's sister; Stephen Grant's sister and her husband are also seeking temporary custody. For now, the children must remain in Michigan, Referee John Kennedy said.

Stephen Grant waited five days before reporting his wife missing. Investigators found Tara Grant's torso Friday in the garage of the couple's home in Washington Township, 30 miles north of Detroit. Other body parts turned up in a nearby park.

Authorities said he fled in a friend's pickup truck after police obtained the search warrant Friday. Officers traced calls from his cell phone to Wilderness State Park about 225 miles north on Lake Michigan. He was nabbed early Sunday, hiding under a fallen tree about three miles from the pickup. He wore only shirt, socks and pants in 14-degree weather.

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