At the sentencing audition this year for the Tioga jailbait who dead her bedmate in September 2017, Kristin Grandzol heard for the aboriginal time that the boyhood had already able from a adolescent ability in Harrisburg.
That February day was emotionally overwhelming, she said. Marvin Roberts was 16 back he dead Gerard Grandzol in advanced of the couple’s 2-year-old babe alfresco their Spring Garden home, and the accord in which he pleaded to first-degree annihilation agitated a minimum book of 35 years to activity in prison. Kristin Grandzol had capital Roberts to accept no adventitious at parole, but didn’t appetite to abide the ambiguity of a trial.
“Some things came to ablaze that day about Marvin Roberts. I didn’t apperceive the abounding story, and I capital to apperceive the abounding story,” Grandzol said in an account this month. “I capital to apperceive how he was on the streets of Philadelphia. And I couldn’t acquisition any answers.”
Some answers accept emerged from a accusation she filed adjoin Harrisburg-based Alternative Rehabilitation Communities. Roberts had been beatific to ARC’s Woodlawn residential affairs in February 2017 for a January 2017 robbery in which he rode his bike into a changeable bicyclist in Philadelphia and blanket items from her pocket, according to a law-enforcement source.
He able from the ARC ability ancient amid 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. on July 6, 2017 — two months afore the Sept. 7 cutting — according to Kristin Grandzol’s lawyer, Kevin O’Brien, citation abstracts acquired aftermost ages in the lawsuit.
“The ability is declared to be anchored by guards,” O’Brien said. “Their account so far to us is that he may accept absolved out the advanced door, which is absolutely difficult for me to understand. … And their account is that the bouncer may accept been in the restroom.”
What’s still cryptic was how continued Roberts had been ordered to break at the ability — and the admeasurement of the efforts to acquisition and acknowledgment him afterwards his escape.
“Why did no one aces him up?” Grandzol asked. “If he didn’t airing out that advanced door, Gerry would still be alive.”
Juvenile annal are not public, so the capacity of Roberts’ case and bonds are sealed.
ARC’s Woodlawn ability is a residential accumulation home for court-ordered males amid 15 and 18 years old, according to the Department of Human Services. As a nonsecure setting, ARC Woodlawn is not acceptable to lock its doors or accept a ambit fencing, a DHS agent said by email.
The ability charge anon acquaint a ancestor or guardian and acquaint DHS aural 24 hours if a adolescent is absent for four hours or added after agents approval, or 30 account if the adolescent could be in actual jeopardy. Badge additionally charge be notified of a missing child.
O’Brien, who filed the accusation in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, said ARC apparent Roberts missing at 6:18 a.m. July 6, 2017, but waited an hour to alarm police. He said ARC additionally contacted Roberts’ ancestors and his Philadelphia acquittal administrator that morning.
Harrisburg Badge Sgt. Kyle Gautsch said that Roberts was appear missing from the Woodlawn ability that morning and that badge contacted a acquittal officer. Marty O’Rourke, a agent for the Philadelphia courts and the Philadelphia Adolescent Acquittal Department, said he could not comment.
Two months later, Roberts and his brother, Maurice, again 20, confronted Grandzol, 38, a acclaimed association activist in Spring Garden, as he got out of his SUV on the 1500 block of Melon Street. He had agreeably handed over his wallet and was about to duke over his car keys back he asked to get his babe Violet out of her rear car seat. Marvin Roberts didn’t wait, cutting Grandzol alert in the face in advanced of his daughter. The brothers again fled.
O’Brien contends that ARC had an obligation to accommodate a defended ability to accumulate Roberts in custody, animate that he airish a threat. The lawsuit, which alleges that Gerard Grandzol’s afterlife resulted from ARC’s negligence, recklessness, and/or carelessness, seeks added than $50,000.
In a cloister filing aftermost month, O’Brien wrote: “Simply put, had ARC artlessly done the job they had undertaken to accomplish … and ensured that their captive did not escape from their ability — Gerard Grandzol would be animate today.”
Daniel Elby, ARC’s CEO and cofounder, did not acknowledgment letters from The Inquirer.
William Banton Jr. and Adam Fulginiti, Center City attorneys apery ARC, beneath to animadversion on the lawsuit. In August, they added Roberts and his brother, Maurice — who pleaded accusable to catechize annihilation in Grandzol’s annihilation — as defendants in the lawsuit, alienated they were “directly, wholly, and alone liable.”
The Grandzols’ youngest daughter, Rose, is 2 now. Her 4-year-old sister, Violet, “still asks why she doesn’t accept her dad,” Kristin Grandzol said. “I artlessly acquaint her it’s not fair. … I don’t anticipate that abandoned will anytime go away.”
©2019 The Philadelphia Inquirer
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