Cambria County jury deliberating West End homicide

·4 min read

Jun. 10—EBENSBURG — The case of a state prison inmate accused of killing a man when he was 16 years old is in the hands of a Cambria County jury.

Mizzon Unique Grandinetti, now 21, is facing a charge of murder in the first degree in the May 1, 2017, shooting death of Barron Thomas Grumbling, 21, which occurred at the corner of Corinne Street and Merle Place in the city's West End.

Jurors will decide if Grandinetti is guilty of murder in the first degree or a lesser charge of murder in the third degree.

The retrial began Wednesday with two days of testimony following a two-day selection process on Monday and Tuesday that was down to the wire with the last available potential juror being eligible to fill the last spot to make up the pool of 12 jurors and four alternates.

Proceedings concluded Friday morning with closing statements and the jury being given the case just before 11:30 a.m.

In January, a mistrial was declared after two days of testimony.

Judge Patrick T. Kiniry declared the mistrial after testimony from a prosecution witness violated a pre-trial order barring statements about previous crimes or acts allegedly committed by Grandinetti.

The retrial began with testimony from Johnstown police Detective Mark Britton, who responded the night Grumbling was killed.

Britton testified that he arrived at the scene to find a Black teen with two gunshot wounds lying parallel with the sewer grate at the intersection of Merle Place and Corinne Street.

Submitted testimony from Cambria County Chief Deputy Coroner Joseph Hribar, read by Cambria County Assistant District Attorney Forrest Fordham III, indicated that Grumbling was shot twice — once in the head and once in the back — and was pronounced dead at 11:07 p.m.

According to submitted testimony from forensic pathologist Dr. Eric Vey, Grumbling died from a spinal cord injury that caused him to lose movement in his legs and blood loss from a damaged artery.

The jury also heard from Connie Kralik, who had lived in the area of the shooting at the time and reported seeing two individuals in red hoodies fleeing from the area of the shooting.

The second day of testimony brought the testimony of a confidential informant who was with Grandinetti and Grumbling the night of the shooting.

According to the informant, they belonged to different social groups based on the part of town they were from and sometimes "various things" caused these groups to not get along.

One of these causes of disagreement was the robbery of Grandinetti's cousin, according to the informant. He said that on the night of the shooting, Grandinetti was talking about how individuals from the Coopersdale group robbed his cousin and described him as frustrated.

He testified that he, Grandinetti and Grumbling were walking to get cigars from a local gas station to make blunts of marijuana and obtain drugs, when Grandinetti bent down as if he was tying his shoe, then shot Grumbling.

According to the alleged eyewitness, Grandinetti allegedly told him that the murder was retaliation for the burglary that Grumbling's group had committed against Grandinetti's cousin which Grumbling did not participate in.

The informant also testified that the gun used in the murder had been disposed of and would not be found.

The only gun located the night of the incident belonged to the informant after he was arrested shortly after the shooting because he fit the description of one of the two individuals seen fleeing the scene.

Testing of the gun in possession of the informant and the discharged bullets found at the scene of the crime by the Pennsylvania State Police determined that the informant's gun was not the murder weapon.

Lisa Davis, the mother of two daughters who were friends with Grandinetti and the informant since they were small children, testified that the two had been at her home with a group of teens and had left. She said at one point she had been in her car and saw the informant with two Black males that she did not recognize walking through the Oakhurst neighborhood. Davis testified that she did not know Grumbling.

The jury also heard from a former girlfriend of Grandinetti's who testified that he confessed to her.

She said that the two previously dated when they were 14, but at age 18, when they began dating again, she told him that she wanted to know "everything that he had done" if they were going to date.

She said that while in her college dorm room, Grandinetti told her that he had "killed B.G." She added that at the time she did not know who B.G. was, but after looking him up on Facebook, learned that he was Grumbling.

The former girlfriend was the final witness before both sides rested their cases Thursday.

Check back for additional information on this developing story.