On Maryland's Death Row: Anthony Grandison

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By Vicki Kriz
Maryland Newsline
Friday, May 8, 2009

Anthony Grandison, convicted of murdering a man and his sister-in-law at a Baltimore County motel, has been on death row for almost 25 years.

Grandison, 59, was found guilty of the first-degree murders of David Scott Piechowicz and Susan Kennedy, Piechowicz’s sister-in-law. Both were killed at the Warren House Motel in Baltimore County on April 28, 1983, by Vernon Lee Evans Jr.

According to court documents, Evans was hired by Grandison to kill Piechowicz and his wife, Cheryl, for a payment of $9,000. The husband and wife were scheduled to testify against Grandison in a narcotics case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. But having never seen his targets in person, Evans mistakenly killed Kennedy, who was filling in for her sister (Piechowicz’s wife) at the motel where they were employees.

Indictments were filed against both Evans and Grandison in U.S. District Court for witness tampering and violating the Piechowiczes’ civil rights to act as witnesses in a judicial proceeding.

Evans and Grandison were convicted of these charges.

Four indictments were also filed against the two men in the Circuit Court of Baltimore County: two counts of first-degree murder, one count of conspiracy to commit murder and one count of use of a handgun in the context of committing a crime of violence. Upon request, Grandison’s trial was transferred to the Circuit Court for Somerset County. He was convicted on all charges and received two death sentences in 1984. An appeal made that same year on the grounds that the death penalty was unconstitutional was denied.

In 1992, Grandison was granted a re-sentencing hearing in Somerset County Circuit Court. This hearing was the first time Janet Moore, Grandison’s girlfriend at the time of the crimes, offered testimony. She corroborated testimony made by previous witnesses.  

After only eight days, the jury again sentenced Grandison to death.

Grandison has filed many appeals with little success.

Due to an appeal made to the Maryland Court of Appeals by Evans, all executions in Maryland were put on hold in 2006 until the legislature approved a new protocol. The protocol is under review.

Anthony Grandison is one of the five men now on Maryland’s death row.

Copyright 2009 University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism

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