District Attorney Seeks Adult Charges Against Teen Suspect in Slaying of Gerard Grandzol, Shot in Front of His Child - NBC 10 Philadelphia

District Attorney Seeks Adult Charges Against Teen Suspect in Slaying of Gerard Grandzol, Shot in Front of His Child

Marvin Roberts, now 17, and his brother Maurice Roberts, 21, are being held in Gerard Grandzol's death.

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    DA Krasner on Grandzol Murder: It's a 'Crushing Tragedy'

    In an exclusive wide-ranging interview with NBC10, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner discussed the high-profile murder of a young father outside his Spring Garden home. Krasner choked back tears when discussing the case of Gerard Grandzol, whose family has been publicly worried that the alleged shooter would be tried as a juvenile.

    (Published Wednesday, April 4, 2018)

    The Philadelphia District Attorney's office filed a motion Wednesday in support of trying as an adult the teenager who is accused of shooting a father and community activist last September.

    Marvin Roberts, who was 16 at the time Gerard Grandzol was killed on Sept. 7, has requested through his defense attorney to be tried in juvenile court.

    "This was absolutely a heinous crime," Philadelphia District Attorney told NBC10. "This is a case that belongs in adult court."

    Grandzol's killing, which police say occurred during an attempted carjacking, has gained considerable attention, in part because of Grandzol's well-known community activism. Investigators also described the shooting as particularly horrific: The 38-year-old man was shot twice in the face as his 2-year-old daughter sat in the back seat of his car.

    The motion filed Wednesday opposed one filed by Roberts' attorney on March 16 requesting that his trial be held in juvenile court.

    "The defendant committed a brutal, premeditated murder without provocation. The defendant's actions both during and after the killing warrant prosecution as an adult," the DA's office wrote in the brief. "The limits of the juvenile justice system are wholly insufficient to adequately address the seriousness of this senseless killing."

    Grandzol's widow has pressed Krasner to push for a trial on adult charges for Roberts. She recently told reporters that she planned to move to out of the city because she no longer felt safe in her own home. 

    Marvin Roberts, now 17, and his brother Maurice Roberts, 21, are being held in Grandzol's death.

    Investigators allege the younger brother pulled the trigger last September in the 1500 block of Melon Street, two blocks south of Fairmount Avenue.

    But Marvin Roberts' attorney, Eileen Hurley, said her client is not beyond rehabilitation.

    The "defendant is clearly amendable (sic) to treatment," she wrote to Judge Kathryn S. Lewis.

    Krasner disagrees. 

    "We're not seeing remorse," he said. "The evidence of guilt is overwhelming."

    After filing the response, Krasner told NBC10 that he has not spoken to Grandzol's widow directly, but that his office did notify her of his office's opposition to a trial in juvenile court.

    "What I can say to her is, 'Your grief is valued and we will do whatever we can to support that,'" Krasner said. "We are here to do whatever we can to make sure justice is achieved."