2012-12-30 / News

Grondin still waiting to learn his fate

2012: A look back
BY PHIL FOLEY 810-452-2616 • pfoley@mihomepaper.com

LAPEER COUNTY — Residents across the county were stunned a year ago November when a pretty blond Kroger cashier from Otisville was found dead from a single gunshot to the head in the basement of her aunt’s Mayfield Township home.

The shock grew when two days later her 19-year-old boyfriend, a member of one of Lapeer County’s most recognizable families, was charged with her killing.

Kenneth C. “Casey” Grondin III has been under house arrest and wearing a GPS tether at his mother’s Lapeer Township home since March when his family posted a $500,000 cash bond. In setting bond, Circuit Court Judge Nick Holowka ordered Grondin not to use phones, computers or social media while out on bond.

Grondin, who worked with Andrea Lorraine Eilber at the Lapeer Kroger store stands accused of open murder in connection with her Nov. 14, 2011 shooting death in the basement of her aunt’s Kings Mill Road home.

However, before a Lapeer County jury decides whether or not he’s responsible for Eilber’s death, the Michigan Court of Appeals will have to decide if statements he reportedly made to Michigan State Police investigators during a daylong interrogation are admissible.

During a three-day hearing this spring, Grondin’s attorney Michael Manley, said police violated the Bender Rule, a Michigan state criminal court rule that goes beyond the constitutional right to an attorney and requires law enforcement to inform a suspect they have an attorney available once they know an attorney has been retained.

The Flint attorney maintains attorneys for Grondin spent much of Nov. 17, 2011 trying to reach Grondin and that detectives did their best to dodge them.

He also maintained statements made by Grondin while with police were coerced, a violation of the Walker rule, and therefore inadmissible.

Circuit Court Judge Nick Holowka agreed with Manley’s arguments during a June 15 hearing and threw out all statements Grondin reportedly made to police while in custody.

Assistant Lapeer County Prosecutor Steve Beatty appealed Holowka’s ruling to the Michigan Court of Appeals and the nearly 1,000 pages of testimony and briefs generated by the circuit and district court hearings have been in Lansing ever since.

Holowka isn’t expected back on the bench until after the first of the year.

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