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2012-10-24 / Front Page

Eilber murder case on hold while attorneys await appeals court ruling

BY PHIL FOLEY
810-452-2616 •

LAPEER — Kenneth C. “KC” Grondin III, 19, has been under house arrest at his mother’s Lapeer Township home since July and will likely stay there until at least January.

The one-time Kroger employee stands accused of killing his 20-yearold girlfriend in her aunt’s Kings Mill Road home in Mayfield Township Nov. 16, 2011.

Grondin’s last court appearance was June 15, when Circuit Court Judge Nick Holowka threw out all statements he reportedly made to police while in custody.

Grondin’s attorney, Michael Manley, argued during a three-day hearing this spring that police violated the Bender Rule, a Michigan state criminal court rule which has been on the books since 1996, that goes beyond the constitutional right to an attorney and requires law enforcement to inform a suspect they have an attorney available once they know an attorney has been retained.

He also maintained statements made by Grondin while with police were coerced, a violation of the Walker rule, and therefore inadmissible.

Assistant Lapeer County Prosecutor Steve Beatty appealed Holowka’s ruling to the Michigan Court of Appeals and the nearly 1,000 pages of testimony and briefs generated by the circuit and district court hearings have been in Lansing ever since.

Lapeer County Prosecutor Byron Konschuh said that while his office is still interviewing several potential witnesses, his office is ready to go to trial as soon as the appeals court hands down a ruling.

However, since Holowka is traditionally on vacation for the month of December, it’s unlikely a trial date would be set before January.

Konschuh said he expects the trial will take “a couple of weeks” since the potential witness pool includes “a couple of dozen people.”

Andrea Lorraine Eilber, 20, of Otisville, was found dead with a single gunshot wound to her head in the basement of her aunt’s Mayfield Township home last fall.

The murder weapon has never been found.

Michigan State Police took Grondin into custody the morning Eilber’s body was found and he was charged with her murder after being in police custody nearly 13 hours.

His attorneys maintain Grondin was held improperly and have suggested that others are responsible for the killing.

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