October 23, 2014

Medina
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County’s longest ongoing trial delayed again, man charged with child abuse

MEDINA — The trial of a 43-year-old man accused of brutally abusing his infant son has been delayed for at least the 20th time.

Kenneth Alex Grad’s jury trial was set to begin Tuesday with opening arguments but was postponed after the judge said Grad had demonstrated that he was incapable of defending himself.

Kenneth Alex Grad

Kenneth Alex Grad

After Grad appeared without an attorney at a Jan. 31 hearing, Medina County Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier appointed a lawyer, Kristopher Aupperle, as “standby counsel” to offer Grad legal advice.

But after watching how Grad handled the jury selection process Monday, Collier delayed the trial again.

“After yesterday’s proceedings, it became very clear that the defendant could not represent himself — even with standby counsel,” Collier said Tuesday.

In a motion filed March 20, Grad had asked the judge to delay his trial because he did not want to represent himself and was “placed into this position” because his latest attorney was ill.

Grad has hired Youngstown attorney Dennis A. DiMartino to represent him, according to court records.

Collier set a new trial date of Sept. 8 — more than six years after Grad was indicted in July 2008.

His trial has been delayed more than 20 times because of plea changes, a judge recusal, an attorney illness and because he’s had at least 10 attorneys who each needed time to prepare before going to trial.

Grad, formerly of Montville Township, is charged with five counts of endangering children, three second- and two third-degree felonies, and three counts of second-degree felonious assault. If convicted on all counts, he could face up to 30 years in prison.

Police said Grad abused his month-old son’s body in May 2008, lacerating the infant’s scrotum and breaking more than two dozen bones.

Grad’s new attorney, DiMartino, wrote in a Monday motion that his client denies the accusations that he broke his son’s bones, arguing his son has a rare and undiagnosed disease that makes his bones brittle.

Foster parents who adopted the boy, now 5, told The Gazette the child has suffered no fractures since his adoption.

Grad’s wife, Laura Grad, was convicted of similar charges after a 2009 trial. She said she didn’t participate in abusing her son and was acquitted on two charges, but was convicted on two other charges for failing to get treatment for the boy.

She was sentenced to five years in prison, but an October 2012 appeal dropped one of her convictions and reduced her prison time by two years.

She was released from Marysville Reformatory the following month and is on parole until next year.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.