Prosecutor: Grant's children witnessed murder

MACOMB, Mich. – A Macomb County prosecutor is asking a judge to exceed the sentencing guidelines for convicted killer Stephan Grant after he learned that the Grant children witnessed Stephen brutally murder and dismember his wife, Tara, in their Washington Township home.

Grant was convicted of second-degree murder in December.

A sentencing memorandum filed by the Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith, states the Grant children witnessed the murder of their mother.

"Not only did two innocent children have their mother ripped away from them and brutally murdered by their father, the children actually witnessed it," stated the memorandum. "In early January 2008, the prosecutor's office learned Lindsay Grant, 7-year-old daughter of Tara Grant, disclosed on Christmas day that she and younger brother, Ian, witnessed a fight between her parents. She then described, in detail how they watched their father kill their mother."

Smith said Grant's sentencing should exceed the mandated guidelines for second-degree murder, that is 18 to 27 years in prison. The prosecutor's office said Grant should receive 50 to 80 years for his crime.

Smith said the guidelines do not take into account the serious and permanent psychological damage the two children suffered watching their father murder their mother.

Just Thursday, Grant's court appointed attorney, Stephen Rabaut, filed a defendant's sentencing memorandum which stated Grant should not exceed sentencing guidelines because Tara did not "suffer extreme or prolonged pain or humiliation," during the killing.

It took four minutes for Stephen Grant to strangle his wife.

If the judge agrees with Rabaut, Grant could apply for parole in 15 years, as opposed to the 18-plus years recommended by the probation office.

A judge will sentence Grant next week.