February 9, 1997 in City

Man Found Guilty Of Murdering Roommate

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Jury doesn’t buy Grimm’s story of self-defense in fatal knifing A jury spent 10 hours over two days before deciding that a Spokane convenience store clerk was guilty of second-degree murder for the stabbing death of his roommate during an argument last May.

The jury verdict Saturday afternoon means 32-year-old Brian Grimm will spent at least 12 years in prison for intentionally killing his companion, David Miller, 47.

Grimm had told jurors during testimony in Spokane County Superior Court that he acted in selfdefense when Miller came after him with a large kitchen knife.

“I’m disappointed at this verdict,” said Grimm’s attorney, Maryann Moreno. “But I’m glad the jury spent as much time deliberating over this as they did.”

With no eyewitnesses, prosecutors had to rely on physical evidence and inconsistencies by Grimm in building the case that the attack was intentional.

Deputy Prosecutor Larry Steinmetz said jurors apparently did not trust Grimm’s self-defense story, probably because Grimm gave varying accounts of what happened the night of the attack.

When police responded to the north Spokane home the men shared, a blood-covered Grimm said he had been attacked by unknown assailants. He later said a party at the house had turned violent. Police say the men had drunk a case of beer after watching TV and then fought. Miller’s body was found a block away, his neck artery cut.

Grimm’s version was that Miller attacked him with a knife. During a struggle, both fell against a couch and the knife unintentionally cut Miller’s neck.

Steinmetz painted a different scenario: Grimm and Miller began fighting and Grimm rushed to the kitchen, grabbing the knife. He returned and intentionally stabbed Miller in the neck as the other man tried to resist.

During cross-examination, Steinmetz said Grimm answered “I don’t know” more than 100 times to questions about the night of the attack.

“He also said he didn’t have a temper, and I was able to show he did have a temper during testimony,” Steinmetz said.

The two men had shared a house for several months.

Grimm was booked immediately into Spokane County Jail and will be sentenced within 40 days. He does not have a felony criminal record, said Moreno.

, DataTimes


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