Murder Suspect to Testify Again – Unrestrained

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Schwartz Posnock

Asbury Park Press, October 22, 2003

Author: Karen Sudol

FREEHOLD - A Red Bank man accused of murdering his live-in girlfriend two
years ago will be permitted to testify before a grand jury again - without
restraints this time, a judge has decided.

Superior Court Judge Francis P. DeStefano ruled last Wednesday that Alex
Grant does not pose a particular threat to a grand jury that would
necessitate him wearing restraints, said Leslie B. Posnock, Grant's
attorney.

The judge also determined that two Monmouth County Sheriff's officers will
be present in the courtroom when Grant testifies, said Assistant Monmouth
County Prosecutor John F. Loughrey.

That decision was reached due to "general security issues regarding people
who are in custody," Posnock said.

Grant is accused of stabbing his girlfriend, 34-year-old Yvette Bacon, 12
times on Dec. 15, 2001, in their Tilton Avenue house. He has claimed that
it was an act of self-defense. He has said that he found Bacon in the
house using drugs in front of her son and threatened to call the state
Division of Youth and Family Services. Bacon held a knife to his neck, the
two wrestled, and he was stabbed seven times, according to Grant.

Grant required emergency surgery for life-threatening injuries and was in
the hospital for 10 days. Bacon's blood alcohol level was 0.30 and cocaine
was found in her system, according to the appellate court decision. The
legal limit is 0.10.

He was named in a three-count indictment in June 2002 charging him with
murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful
possession of a weapon.

Under an agreement with the Prosecutor's Office, Grant was to testify
before the grand jury unshackled and in civilian clothing. But a sheriff's
officer insisted he be shackled because of the nature of the charges. He
testified in shackles.

The state Appellate Division determined in June that Grant was deprived of
his rights. It ordered the case to be presented to a grand jury again and
a judge to determine beforehand whether any restraints would be necessary.

The state had asked the Supreme court to grant certification to hear
arguments but the court declined the request last month.

Grant's case is expected to be presented to a grand jury again next week,
Posnock said.

Grant remains in Monmouth County Jail, Freehold Township, in lieu of
$350,000 bail, Posnock said.
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