On Friday, Stephen Grant met with his new attorney, Stephen Rabuat, whose first order of business was filing a gag order.
Rabaut wants a judge to order police and prosecutors not to comment on the case. A judge will make a decision on Monday.
Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel joked with reporters on Friday that he might be speaking his last words on the case.
Hackel said Grant is adjusting to life in the Macomb County Jail.
"He has been very cordial; he has not given our officers any problems," Hackel said. "He's just been very subdued."
Hackel added Grant is under 24-hour observation.
Judge Appoints Grant New Attorney
Grant, who has been at the Macomb County Jail since March 5, met his new attorney, Rabaut, who has covered several high-profile cases.
He was appointed by Macomb County Circuit Chief Judge Antonio Viviano after David Griem, a Detroit lawyer who had acted as Grant's spokesman, said Sunday he no longer would represent Grant because of irreconcilable differences. Grant was without an attorney at the arraignment.
"I will represent Mr. Grant ethically, professionally, and protect his rights," Rabaut told Local 4's Kevin Dietz. "Beyond that, I have no statement for the media."
Usually the judge selects a lawyer from a list of names who qualify to handle murder cases, but in this case, a judge handpicked Rabant, Local 4 reported.
Viviano said in a statement that he chose Rabaut because of his extensive background with high-profile criminal cases and a "proven ability to handle potential distractions while providing the best possible counsel."
The Macomb County Bar Association said it is not happy with the way Grant's attorney was chosen.
"We are severely disappointed that the procedure laid out in the courts own administrative order of Sept. 25, 2006, was not followed in this case," Macomb County Bar Association President Elect William Staugaard said. "The 22 Macomb County Bar Association attorneys who have been screened, selected, and currently serve on the court-appointed A-list are all highly qualified and capable of handling a high-profile case."
Grant Charged With Premeditated Murder
The courtroom was still as Grant was wheeled in for his arraignment on Tuesday.
As the family of Tara Lynn Grant sat in the front row, honorable Judge Denis LeDuc read Grant his rights and then his charges.
"I want to advise you that you are charged with count one homicide, murder in the first degree that is premeditated, that you did deliberately, with the intent to kill and with premeditation, kill and murder Tara Grant," said LeDuc.
"(You are) also charged with count two disinterment and/or mutilation of a dead body, that of Tara Grant," he added.
The charge of count one homicide in the first degree is punishable by life in prison. The charge of disinterment and dismemberment is punishable by up to 10 years in prison or a $5,000 fine or both.
Because Grant did not have representation, the judge entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf.
Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith asked the court to hold Grant in the Macomb County Jail without bond.
"Given the extreme seriousness of the charges, nature of the allegations here and the nature of the alleged flight, I'm going to order you (Grant) held without bond," LeDuc announced.
A preliminary examination is scheduled for March 20 at 1:30 p.m.
Evidence Pushed Investigators To Search Grant Home
Police said a woman who was walking in the woods in Shelby Township said she saw a plastic bag on the ground.
The woman said there appeared to be blood in and on the bag.
She immediately went home and called police.
It was confirmed by Macomb County sheriff's deputies and the prosecutor that there was human blood, latex gloves and metal shavings inside the bag.
According to the Macomb County prosecutor, the bag was what pushed investigators to issue a search warrant and go into the Grant home.
Police Report Confession
Grant confessed to the slaying and dismemberment of his wife, Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel said in a news conference Monday morning.
Grant provided investigators with meticulous information regarding the disappearance and killing of his wife, according to police.
Officials said Grant told detectives he strangled Tara Grant and took her to the family-owned tool and die shop where he dismembered her body.
The information Grant provided matched evidence found in the case, Hackel said.
"Today, we amended the charges against Stephen Grant," Smith said. "We upped open murder to premeditated murder in the first degree, and that's a life punishment -- life in prison without parole. That comes based on evidence told to us by the sheriff's department and medical examiner."
Hackel and Smith held a news conference on Monday, detailing Grant's supposed confession.
"He (Grant) did say how he caused her death and how he dismembered her body," said Hackel. "He did say how he took her to Stoney Creek Park to discard her body."
The question on whether their children were home at the time of the slaying did come up from members of the media, and Hackel replied that as far as he knew, "the kids had always been at the house." The children are now being cared for by family members.
Officials said Grant did not reveal a motive or explanation for the slaying.
"From the onset, we looked at this as a missing person; today I wish it was a missing person case, but it's not," said Hackel.
Grant Returns To Macomb County
A Northern Michigan Hospital doctor explained around 10:30 a.m. that Grant was healthy enough to leave the hospital and return to Macomb County.
Police said they found Grant hiding out in the Wilderness State Park in northern lower Michigan. Police said he suffered from hypothermia and frost bite and needed to be hospitalized.
Local 4 cameras stood by an emergency exit of a Northern Michigan Hospital as officials transported Grant to Macomb County Jail.
Grant was wheeled out of the an emergency entrance of the hospital at 1:43 p.m. on Monday. He was wearing a black and white-striped prison uniform.
Local 4's Hank Winchester asked Grant questions about killing his wife, which he refused to answer.
Grant did not say a word as he entered the police car.
Local 4's Kevin Dietz and Sky 4 followed the motorcade as it return to Macomb County.
Grant was processed and fingerprinted and is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday.
Medical Examiner Releases Preliminary Autopsy Results
The Macomb County medical examiner on Monday completed an autopsy on the remains of Tara Grant.
The cause of death has been determined to be manual strangulation.
The body shows signs of an altercation and struggle that took place between her and her assailant, according to Dr. Daniel Spitz.
The other additional findings include non-specific injuries to the head and other areas of the body.
The medical examiner also said a process of a DNA test is under way to confirm the identity of the remains.
Manual strangulation was confirmed when medical examiners found visible bruising on the neck, as well as injuries to the deeper structure and cartilage in the neck.
There were also signs of animal activity to some of the parts.
Spitz said that manual strangulation takes five minutes and that it appeared the date of her death was around Feb. 9.
The fact that the body parts were kept outdoors in the cold temperatures made it easier for examiners to determine the cause of death and the injuries to the body.
Au Pairs Give Inside Look Into Grant Home
The Grant family brought the assistance of au pairs to help with the children.
At the time the au pairs lived in the Grant home, they said many of the events that took place make perfect sense.
The au pairs did not wish to be named.
The au pairs that lived inside the home at one point told Local 4 they wouldn't speak while living in the U.S., but now that they are back in their native countries, they want to share with everyone the experience of living with Stephen Grant.
One au pair, who asked not to be identified, said she was afraid to live there and speak out. Another told Local 4 that Grant would "Spy on them through a peephole into their room."
Another said she would lock her door every night in fear that Grant would go off on one his "tirades." She also said that they would find him inside their bedrooms going through their belongings.
The au pairs said they were afraid and just could not live inside that home.
"The safety of our au pairs is foremost," said Nancy Sterling of Au Pair in America. "If there is any indication that an unsafe environment she would be removed immediately."
"There was no information provided to us by any au pair involved with the family that there was a problem," she added.
One au pair, Verena Derkes, 19, of Germany, was living at the Grant home at the time Tara Grant was reported missing.
Rescue 4 found out that Grant made two phone calls the night police searched his home.
Sources told Local 4 that Grant called his attorney, and he also called Derkes in Germany.
Sources said he wanted to clarify the story and told her Tara really fell down the stairs.
"The au pair, former au pair in Germany, is someone who we'd obviously like to speak with," Smith said. "But to get to talk to her is a logistical nightmare."
She said she wanted to stay at the house while Tara was missing, but the company she worked for asked her to leave.
How Brutal Slaying Allegedly Took Place
Local 4's Marc Santia found out that investigators said they believe she was strangled inside the house -- around Feb. 9, the date she was last seen -- but dismembered the body at the tool and die business where Stephen Grant worked.
Investigators said metal shavings were found with the evidence recovered in the shop. The same metal shavings were found inside a plastic bag, along with a bloody latex glove, which a woman had found along a road near Stony Creek Metro Park just days before the Grant home was searched.
Grant told investigators during his confession that he fought with Tara before he strangled her.
Police said afterward he drove her body to the Mount Clemens shop where he dismembered it, and then scattered some of her remains throughout Stony Creek Metro Park.
When Grant learned of the initial ground search, investigators said he retrieved Tara Grant's torso and brought it back to his house.
Prosecutors said Grant premeditated his wife's slaying.
They said it takes four to five minutes for someone to die of strangulation and Stephen Grant had a chance to stop strangling his wife and let her live.
Spitz said Tara Grant's remains showed signs of a struggle. He said it is unclear as to when her body was dismembered.
What's Next For The Children
The juvenile division of the Macomb County Family Court held a custody hearing on Tuesday for the Grant children.
The Grant children, a 6-year-old girl and 4-year-old boy, are currently in the custody of Tara Grant's sister Alicia Standerfer.
According to referee John Kennedy, the children will remain in the custody of the Department of Human Services until the next hearing.
Kennedy also stated that the children will have no contact with their natural father, Stephen Grant, "in any shape, any form, not at all."
Local 4 has learned Smith has requested Standerfur to be granted custody of the children.
Workers for Michigan's Child Protective services office have filed an abuse/neglect petition against Grant. It's presumably based on allegations that he killed his wife in the home while the children were, and that he kept her torso in the garage while the children were there.
A Mount Clemens attorney who has experience in cases like this talked to Local 4 News about how the process works.
"This is a matter of finding what's in the best interest of the children right now," family attorney Donald Aubrey said. "Making sure the children's needs are taken care of, making sure there is a process by which wherever the children are placed that a third party has the ability to provide food, shelter, and can seek medical help for the child."
Aubrey said in very serious cases, protective services asks that a petition be accepted. The petition would include language requesting that a parent's rights be terminated.
If they do file to terminate his parental rights, that process could take a long time -- maybe four months to a year.
Grant will have an attorney appointed to him, and the children will have what's called a Guardian ad Litem representing them.
A Macomb County bank is accepting donations for a trust fund set up for the two young children.
Donations may be sent to:
Care of: Warren Bank 38880 Garfield Road Clinton Township, MI 48038
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