Son, 26, charged in death of man

Father fatally stabbed, stepmother in hospital with multiple wounds

Attack at Glen Burnie home

January 24, 2002|By Rona Kobell and Laura Barnhardt | Rona Kobell and Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF

A 26-year-old Glen Burnie man was charged with murder yesterday in the fatal stabbing of his father Tuesday night, an attack that his stepmother survived by running from their house, authorities said yesterday.

Neighbors who called 911 said they barely recognized the wounded Deborah Grierson as she ran across her front yard screaming for help, her stepson not far behind her.

The 42-year-old woman suffered multiple stab wounds, authorities said. She was in serious but stable condition at Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore last night, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Her husband, Fred Charles Grierson, 62, a self-employed home improvement contractor, died at the couple's home in the 100 block of St. James Drive in Glen Burnie on Tuesday night, county police said.

Charles Martin Grierson of the 200 block of Wood Hill Drive in Glen Burnie was arrested by county police at his parents' house shortly after the attack, which took place just before 9 p.m. He was being held at the county jail in Annapolis without bail on first-degree murder and first-degree assault charges, police officials said.

Police officials said the suspected murder weapon was recovered at the house. Lt. Joseph E. Jordan, a county police spokesman, said someone in the house called 911 about 5:45 p.m. Tuesday but hung up without speaking. Worried that the call might have come from a victim of domestic violence, officers checked the house but found Charles Grierson alone, and they reported no problems.

Police were not able to say when the parents came home. But two hours later, about 8:50 p.m., police were called to the house again -- this time by neighbors who heard Deborah Grierson yelling for help.

"Help me, help me, help me!" she screamed, according to neighbors across the street who said they watched a dark-haired woman, covered in blood, run out of the Grierson house.

Neighbor Michael Smith ran to her, then yelled to his daughter to bring blankets, said his wife, Mary Smith.

He didn't recognize the bloody woman as their friend and neighbor, said his daughter, Michelle Babish. Though Deborah Grierson was a blond, she had recently dyed her hair a dark brown, said Babish.

Babish said Deborah gasped that she and her husband had been stabbed and that her husband was still in the house.

While Michael Smith held Deborah, Charles Grierson came out of the house, said Babish. He lunged at Michael, as though he was trying to push him out of the way, Mary Smith said. Babish quickly ran across the street to call 911.

Before police arrived, neighbors said that Charles Grierson paced around the front yard.

Charles Grierson's roommate, Mike Frech, said he went to the Grierson home that night when he learned what had happened. He said he found his longtime high school buddy standing next to police, wearing only boxer shorts and shivering.

"He was in a totally different world," said Frech, 23. "He was muttering something that didn't make sense."

Charlie Grierson's friends describe a meticulous guy, who took as much pride in his roofing work as he did in his appearance. Friends called him "Sweet Chuck" because of his endearing smile and his luck with women.

Grierson attended Glen Burnie High School and dropped out in 10th grade, friends said yesterday. He has three children who do not live with him, but whom he sees regularly, his friends said.

In 1992, when he was 17, Grierson was shot in the abdomen at a party after a fight between the host and a guest. He spent two months in the hospital recovering, much of it in the intensive care unit.

High school friends who gathered yesterday at Grierson's apartment complex said he got along well with his father and stepmother and stopped by their house often to do laundry and visit his pit bull, Lexus.

Frech said Grierson's behavior in the last four days seemed out of character and concerned him.

Yesterday, family members declined to comment as they entered the home on St. James Drive. They hugged each other as they walked past Mylar balloons and a bouquet of yellow roses neighbors had attached to a fence in the front yard early that morning.

Neighbors knew Fred Grierson as a craftsman who had renovated many of the one-story, single-family homes in the quiet neighborhood tucked behind Aquahart Road. Among them was his own home, a well-kept rancher with a wood front and new windows.

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