Branchburg resident Charles Stone Jr., 18, filed a lawsuit earlier this month against the three men accused of sexually assaulting and killing his mother, Bridgewater resident Carolyn Stone, on May 24, 2009.
The complaint, which was filed in Superior Court in Somerville, named the three men charged in the crime—David Granskie Jr., Gary Wilson and Rocky DiTaranto—as well as David Granskie Sr., who owns the home on Oak Street in Bridgewater where Carolyn Stone lived and where her body was found during Memorial Day weekend 2009.
According to attorney Beverly Wurth, who is representing Charles Stone, the three men accused in the crime engaged in conduct that was so negligent and reckless that it caused Stone's mother's death.
"[The complaint] says they were intentionally negligent," she said. "And David Granskie Sr. was present on the property when the crime occurred, and he did not take care to provide for her safety. He was negligent in supervising the actions of his guests."
The three men have all pleaded not guilty in the crime, and David Granskie Sr. has not been charged.
In May 2009, former Somerset County Prosecutor Wayne Forrest announced that David Granskie Jr., Wilson and DiTaranto were charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, felony murder, aggravated sexual assault and second degree conspiracy to commit aggravated sexual assault.
Forrest said that a homicide was suspected at an Oak Street residence when police investigated a report at 6:47 a.m. on May 24, 2009, of a female victim in the backyard of the residence.
The civil lawsuit itself, Wurth said, has been filed by Charles Stone on behalf of the estate of Carolyn Stone, which includes his two older sisters, Christina and Kelly.
"Any money damages would be split among them," Wurth said.
At this point, Wurth said, she does not know when, or even if, the civil suit will go to trial because there has not yet been a trial on the criminal charges.
"The three [accused] are currently incarcerated," she said. "A trial will not happen until one has been completed for the criminal charges."
This could take at least a year, Wurth said.
Wurth also said the lawsuit has not yet been served to the four individuals named, but that action should be taken within the next two weeks. From there, she said, the defendants will have 35 days to respond.
"If they don't, we will ask for a proof hearing to determine damages," she said. "There will be no trial then."