View Full Version : Black gets life for murder of 87-year-old White woman - set body on fire
11-25-2011, 09:38 PM
NOT A GOOD SOURCE FOR VERIFYING RACE OF VICTIM
Arrest Made In Springs Burned-Body Case
Marcus Smith Arrested Friday
Posted by Wayne Harrison, Web Editor
POSTED: 5:59 pm MST November 25, 2011
UPDATED: 8:54 pm MST November 25, 2011
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- A 21-year-old Colorado Springs resident was arrested Friday afternoon in the death of an 87-year-old woman whose burnt body was found at a trailhead on Wednesday.
Colorado Springs police said Marcus Smith was arrested at 12:15 p.m in the 1300 block of Suncrest Way. He was arrested on a warrant charging him with first-degree murder.
The charred body of the victim, Kathryn "Kit" Grazioli, was found at the Captain Jack's trailhead near Lower Gold Camp Road. Thee body was discovered by firefighters who were called to a report of a wildfire in the area.
The manner of death was ruled homicide by the El Paso County Coroner’s Office, however, the autopsy investigation has not been completed and the final cause of death will has not been released.
"No additional suspects have been identified or are being sought in this investigation," police said in a news release.
11-26-2011, 06:06 PM
A 21-year-old burglar was arrested Friday afternoon on suspicion of killing an 87-year-old former church deacon and burning her body at a west Colorado Springs trailhead.
Marcus Smith, on probation for second-degree burglary, was jailed Friday on suspicion of first-degree murder after what neighbors fear could have been a deadly break-in.
Colorado Springs police suspect he killed Kathryn “Kit” Grazioli, a local businesswoman, and left her body burning at the Lower Captain Jack’s Trailhead, south of Tunnel 1 near Lower Gold Camp Road.
Her death saddened business associates and fellow church-goers, who described her as “generous” and “thoughtful.” Unlike many women her age, she stayed on top of changes in technology, said Jim Woods, whom she met on Facebook. She offered him frequent updates about the latest gadgets, such as picture phones.
“Most people that age are settling in; she wasn’t settling in,” Woods said. “She lived her life as if the best days were still ahead of her.”
The grisly story began to reveal itself Wednesday around 2:15 a.m., when Colorado Springs firefighters were called to put out a blaze at the trailhead. When firefighters extinguished the blaze, they found a badly burned body.
Around 12:30 p.m. that day, homicide detectives began searching her house in the 1100 block of Samuel Point, tucked away in a gated community southeast of Colo. Highway 115 and Cheyenne Meadows Road.
Investigators dusted the house for fingerprints well into the night, and a firefighter joined detectives around 7:30 p.m. to board up a window on the townhome’s west side.
Police did not say how they suspect Grazioli was killed in announcing Friday that the body found at the trailhead two days earlier is hers. They did not say how her identity was verified.
One neighbor, though, fears that whoever harmed Grazioli may have tried to break into her house first.
The neighbor said police dusted her bedroom window for fingerprints after officers found window screens missing from the windows of two homes — one from her own home, and one from Grazioli’s house.
Fortunately, the neighbor said, her window was locked, and didn’t budge once the screen was removed. The window glass was left dotted with fingerprints, she said.
Phil Baldwin, president of the homeowners association at the 120-unit complex, said the neighborhood has been left to wonder, for now, whether Grazioli knew her attacker or, more disturbing yet, was chosen at random.
“We don’t know if he wandered in here, picked out a house and just killed a woman,” he said.
Others in the gated community said they could not get much information from police, who were actively investigating the case. Carolyn Bassett said no one told her Wednesday whether she should be concerned about the potential for break-ins, or even if foul play was suspected.
“It’s very tight-lipped, and from a community perspective, we want to know more,” Bassett said.
A Google+ account bearing Grazioli’s name says she used to live in Florida but followed her husband — who was in the military — to Colorado 22 years ago. She has three sons and five grandchildren, according to the account information.
Until a year ago, she served as a deacon of Faith Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs, said Rev. Tom Trinidad.
Grazioli also described herself on Google+ as an “entrepreneur” and “network marketer,” working for ACN, a direct marketer of telecommunications services.
“She was constantly making herself available to people who were unemployed or underemployed in our congregation,” Trinidad said. “She was always looking out to help people.”
Smith’s arrest is the latest in a growing criminal record, according to court documents.
Smith was sentenced in October to five years of probation after he pleaded guilty to a second-degree burglary in El Paso County, court documents show. Charges of selling stolen property to a pawn broker and theft between $1,000 and $20,000 were dismissed in his plea deal.
He was scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 12 on a misdemeanor assault charge, which court records indicate occurred Oct. 31. The records contain no details of the alleged incident.
Police say Smith was walking a half-mile from Grazioli’s home in the 1300 block of Suncrest Way when Colorado Springs police SWAT members surrounded him at 12:15 p.m. Friday. He is being held without bond at the El Paso County jail. Police say they are looking for no other suspects.
Grazioli’s death has been ruled a homicide, the 26th this year in Colorado Springs. The city had 24 homicides in all of 2010.
11-09-2015, 09:22 AM
Man awaiting trial since 2011 on murder charges sends bizarre letters to El Paso County judge
Updated: November 9, 2015 at 7:20 am
A man in jail on charges of murder and attempted murder sent more than a dozen bizarre letters to an El Paso County judge between the summer of 2012 and April of last year.
The letters were recently released to The Gazette by the 4th Judicial District Court through an open records request.
Marcus Smith, 25, is known for his frequent outbursts in court, which often get him booted from hearings. Smith has been awaiting trial since 2011 for the murder of 87-year-old Kathryn "Kit" Grazioli, and more recently was also accused of attempted murder of an El Paso County jail guard, sheriff's deputy Harry LeMonte.
Since July 16, 2012, Smith has sent 13 letters to Judge Barbara Hughes. The letters are repetitive and accuse the court of calling him "black" when he is actually "brown." In the July 16 letter, he writes that he is innocent and wants his record cleared and a $500 million payment from the court.
"Just accept the truth," he wrote. "Stop torturing and holding me captive for something I had no control of, by lying directly and by exclusionary means."
He makes the demands several times over the years worth of letters, and frequently refers to himself as Kntu KintA. On a scrap of paper included with a photocopy of an envelope dated July 31, 2012, Smith wrote "stop whipping me!" in all capital letters. He later changed his demands for money to ask for $10 billion.
On March 18, 2013, the court filed a letter addressed to "Guilty Barbara Hughes" from "The Law/Innocence." In 2014, the court filed a letter to Hughes addressed to "Beautiful," in which he likens prosecutors to kids making a mess of their house when their parents are on vacation. The prosecution needs to be "undone," he writes, and then starts referencing the "consecution," which he likens to a "real party, for Good People, who take care of their duties and responsibilities, and who do the right thing when they think no one is looking or otherwise. An orderly party. A Legal, World Party. Consecution."
Later in the letter, he wrote he's "just tryna (expletive) PARTY! It's my birthday everyday. Because everyday is 'Do-It-Right-Day!'"
He signed the letter "Party Animal."
Attorneys and prosecutors have been barred from talking about it because of a gag order on the case. In court hearings, Smith's lawyers have told Hughes he does not cooperate with them. Smith calls attorney Josh Tolini's office to ask his paralegal to kill him on Smith's behalf, Tolini said in court in February. Smith has been held at the El Paso County jail for years, which is unusual. Many homicide cases are closed within a year or two of arresting the suspect.
Smith has had at least 58 hearings since Grazioli's murder, court records show, and there is no immediate end in sight.
Grazioli's son, Buddy, wrote a letter to District Attorney Dan May in June 2013 expressing disgust that the court had yet to move forward with the case 18 months after "Mom was brutally murdered, set on fire and left on a mountain road in Colorado Springs like a pile of discarded garbage." At that point in time, James Holmes had already entered a plea in the Aurora theater shooting, which happened months after Grazioli was killed.
"The man accused of this crime has not even been arraigned, let alone tried, convicted, sentenced and executed," Grazioli's letter said, co-signed by Chuck and Pat Grazioli. "Rather, we are faced on Monday with the prospect of another delay and continuance being granted by the judge, further pushing out any chance of bringing this animal to justice."
Deputy Harry LeMonte says Smith threw him to the floor, hit him and kicked him in the face, causing him to lose consciousness. He says his eyes were swollen shut for days.
Congratulations to Deputy Harry LeMonte (11 years)
Kathryn "Kit" Grazioli
06-23-2016, 07:07 AM
Voices in head, balloons in stomach: Murder suspect's mental health back in spotlight in trial
Updated: 6/23/16 at 6:38 am
He insisted on a diet of coconut milk and bison meat. He spoke of voices in his head, devices under his skin and a balloon inside his stomach that could burst at any moment.
In the months before a grisly killing for which he is on trial, Marcus Allen Smith's mental state unraveled to the point that his mother couldn't understand his rambling diatribes, she told an El Paso County jury Wednesday.
Asked on the stand if she recognized her son today, Earline Smith's placid smile dissolved.
"I have pictures of my son," she said in a faltering voice.
Without denying that Smith, 25, committed the slaying, his court-appointed attorneys argue he was too disturbed to form criminal intent the night prosecutors say he strangled an 87-year-old woman before setting her body ablaze on Nov. 23, 2011.
Testimony also dwelled on Smith's fixation on brown clothing and his claim to state psychologist David Margiotta - reported two months before Grazioli's killing - that he saw and heard "members of the KKK." Although the psychologist told jurors that he understood Smith's comments to refer to the Klu Klux Klan, Smith's mother said her son generally uses the term to refer to "King Kunta Kinte," a reference to a slave featured in the novel and television miniseries "Roots."
Margiotta also testified that Smith told him that if he failed to heed the KKK voices, or if he fell asleep, a balloon in his stomach could burst.
06-28-2016, 01:48 PM
Marcus Allen Smith guilty of first-degree murder of Colorado Springs woman
June 28, 2016
Jurors have found Marcus Allen Smith guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of an 87-year-old woman and burning her body at a popular Colorado Springs trailhead.
Sentencing is set for 1:45 p.m. Tuesday. Smith will receive an automatic life sentence without parole.
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