Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Ex-pastor Philip Grandine drowned his pregnant wife

Karissa and Philip Grandine are shown in this file photo. Metro/Screengrab/Myspace 
Torstar News Service
Disguised in a banana smoothie was a sedative — not enough for an overdose, but enough to make Anna Karissa Grandine drowsy and confused, the Crown told the jury in closing arguments on the final day of the first-degree murder trial.

That’s when Philip Grandine carried or coaxed his 20-weeks pregnant wife, to the bathtub, Crown prosecutor Donna Kellway said.

The former pastor and retirement home nurse may have gently held her head under the water until she drowned, or let gravity pull her non-resistant body below the surface, Kellway said.

Either way her death on Oct. 17, 2011 “was no accident and no suicide.”

Grandine, she said, acted with “intent to kill” the 29-year-old woman who stood in the way of him being with his mistress.

The defence has argued that Karissa, as she was known, took the sedatives herself, defence has argued amid a depression caused by husband’s ongoing affair with a woman who was a member of his parish. Grandine had recently resigned as a pastor because of the affair.

Grandine, who sat behind his lawyer and kept his gaze focused on Kellway, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

Kellway told the jury that Karissa had once thought about suicide — but changed her mind because of the baby.

Kellway told the jury that the evidence shows Grandine “researched his crime, the means to carry it out and escape detection.”

The Crown argues that in the week before Karissa died included Grandine Googled questions like: “would 100 mg of Ativan be fatal?”, “buy lorazepam in Toronto” and for the terms: “autopsy,” “overdose” and “toxicology.”

The drug found in Karissa’s system was lorazepam, also known as Ativan, the jury has heard.

Grandine also conducted trial runs with the lorazepam, Kellway said.

She suggests that he obtained the sedative through his work as a nurse and manager at a retirement home, where his duties included distributing and disposing of medications, including lorazepam.

Four days before Karissa died Grandine tried the drugs on himself, Kellway said. Then he tested the drug on Karissa, causing her to be so disoriented and nauseated that she had to be hospitalized. She told her friend it felt as though “she had lost a day,” Kellway said.

Karissa died two days after returning home from the hospital.

Kellway also suggested that Grandine planned an alibi. As Karissa took a bath, he went out for an hour-long run, he told police.

This was a lie, Kellway said, pointing to phone records that show Grandine was on the phone with his mistress Eileen Florentino for much of that time. The records include a call made just three minutes before Grandine called 911 to report that his wife was non-responsive.

Karissa “had no reason to take lorazepam,” Kellway said. “Philip Grandine had reason to give it to her.”

The jury is expected to begin deliberations on Tuesday.

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