A Macomb County judge ruled Friday that an alleged taped confession will be admissible in the trial of Stephen Grant at the end of this month.
Grant is accused of murdering and dismembering his wife, Tara, and is incarcerated in the Macomb County Jail, awaiting his Nov. 27 trial.
The confession was made just after his capture in Northern Michigan back in March.
In the tape, Grant describes how he got into a fight with Tara inside their home, and how their argument in February resulted in her death.
According to a transcript of that confession, Grant said he and his wife were arguing in their suburban Detroit home in early February over what he said were her frequent work trips.
She walked away, he said, and grabbed her wrist. Tara then slapped him in the face, scratching his nose. Grant told police that he then hit his wife hard in the head and she fell to the floor.
After an argument, the transcript says, Grant began to choke his wife. He said he covered her face with a gray-colored shirt or pair of underwear.
Jerome Sabbota, a Royal Oak legal expert who has been following the trial, told Local 4 that the admissible evidence is not necessarily bad news for the defendant.
Because Grant said that his wife died during the struggle, and not that he deliberately murdered her, that opens the door to a possible manslaughter conviction, which carries a penalty of 12-15 years.
That could be good news for defense Grant's defense attorneys, Sabbota said, if Grant submits that statement alone instead of testifying at his own trial.