Prosecution 'Skeptical' About False Confession in Murder Case
July hearing scheduled in 2009 Memorial Day weekend murder in Bradley Gardens.
A hearing will be held in July on a report by an expert witness that one of the Bridgewater men charged in a murder three years ago may have given a false confession because of his heroin addiction.
Katharine Errickson, attorney for David Granskie Jr., told Superior Court Judge John Pursel on Tuesday that Dr. Clarence Watson, a forensic psychiatrist and lawyer based in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, will testify that Granskie, 25, gave a false confession to murdering Carolyn Stone, 45, in the backyard of a Bradley Gardens home during the 2009 Memorial Day weekend.
But Somerset County Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Rocchietti said he was “skeptical” both about the science in Watson’s report and some of its facts which opined that Granskie gave the confession because he was in withdrawal from heroin addiction.
Because of that, the judge has scheduled a hearing for 9 a.m. July 11 on the report.
”Nobody understands why they say they did something that they didn’t,” Errickson said.
The hearing on the report will be held before a hearing is held on whether Granskie’s confession may be admitted into his trial and whether his Miranda rights against self-incrimination were violated. No date has been set for the Miranda hearing.
"You're looking at the expert right here in a black robe," Pursel said about the Miranda hearing.
No trial date has been set for Granskie and co-defendant, Rocky DiTaranto, 25, both residents of the Bradley Gardens section of Bridgewater.
A third co-defendant, Gary Wilson, 29, also a Bradley Gardens resident, pleaded guilty in July 2011 to the murder charge. He is tentatively scheduled to be sentenced on July 24.
According to a plea agreement with the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office, Wilson will be sentenced to 45 years in state prison. Because it is a first-degree crime, Wilson will have to serve 85 percent of the sentence, or 38 years, before being eligible for parole.
As part of the agreement, Wilson also agreed to testify against Granskie and DiTaranto.
In pleading guilty, Wilson told the judge that he and friends were attending a Memorial Day weekend barbecue at an Oak Street home, where Stone lived with Granskie's father, and became intoxicated after drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana and snorting cocaine. In the middle of the night, Wilson said, DiTaranto led Stone, who was also intoxicated, into the backyard of the home.
Wilson said he went with them. From there, Wilson said, DiTaranto had sex with Stone on the ground, keeping his hands on her neck to keep her down. After DiTaranto had sex with her, Wilson said, he was supposed to have sex with her too, but didn't.
Wilson said he then dropped a cinder block three times on her head to keep her quiet.
Wilson's plea came after a hearing earlier in 2011 to determine if his right against self-incrimination had been violated. During interrogation by police in 2009, Wilson allegedly said, "I just murdered someone."