De­fense: Deal of­fered for rest of Grim’s re­mains

Man ac­cused of killing and bury­ing Lower Ma­cungie woman in his back­yard

The Morning Call - - FRONT PAGE - By Lau­rie Ma­son Schroeder

The lawyer rep­re­sent­ing Michael Hor­vath, the Mon­roe County man ac­cused of kid­nap­ping and killing Holly Grim of Lower Ma­cungie Town­ship, said Fri­day that prose­cu­tors of­fered her client a deal to avoid the death penalty if he re­vealed the where­abouts of “the other half ” of Grim’s body.

De­fense at­tor­ney Chan­dra Ble­ice would not say what her client’s re­ac­tion to the plea of­fer was, say­ing only “it cer­tainly looks like we’re go­ing to trial.”

Ble­ice’s state­ment, made dur­ing a pre­trial hearing at the county court­house in Strouds­burg, of­fered a hint at the grue­some de­tails ju­rors will hear when Hor­vath’s trial, sched­uled for next month, gets un­der­way.

Hor­vath, 51, is charged with homi­cide, abuse of a corpse, tam­per­ing with ev­i­dence and other crimes in con­nec­tion with Grim’s death. Po­lice say that in Novem­ber 2013, Hor­vath kid­napped Grim from her trailer in the Red Maples Mo­bile Home Park, then took her to his Ross Town­ship home where he killed her and dis­posed of her body.

Po­lice say they found ev­i­dence that Hor­vath was stalk­ing Grim, his co­worker at Allen Or­gan Co. in Ma­cungie, and that he had books and videos on “hunt­ing hu­mans” in his home.

Hor­vath was ar­rested on Oct. 13, 2016, and has been held at the Mon­roe County Cor­rec­tional

Fa­cil­ity with­out bail since then. He did not tes­tify dur­ing the hearing be­fore Judge Margherita Patti Wor­thing­ton.

The judge must rule on the ad­mis­si­bil­ity of nu­mer­ous pieces of ev­i­dence be­fore the trial. First As­sis­tant District At­tor­ney Michael Man­cuso told the judge that he in­tends to prove that Hor­vath pos­sessed re­straints, books on se­rial killers and sado­masochis­tic pornog­ra­phy.

Man­cuso also told the judge there is ev­i­dence that Hor­vath stalked other fe­males, in­clud­ing high school stu­dents, at the same time he was al­legedly stalk­ing Grim, and kept notes on his ac­tiv­i­ties. The judge will de­cide how much a jury hears about those al­le­ga­tions.

Al­though in­ves­ti­ga­tors be­lieve Grim was kid­napped in Lower Ma­cungie, they say ev­i­dence points to Hor­vath killing her and bury­ing her body on his prop­erty. That’s why the trial is be­ing held in Mon­roe County.

Po­lice in Oc­to­ber 2016 an­nounced that Grim’s skele­tal re­mains were dis­cov­ered in a 4-by-4-foot area at the bot­tom of an em­bank­ment be­hind Hor­vath’s house, cov­ered by about a foot of dirt. Hor­vath’s wife later found a bot­tle of chlo­ro­form on the prop­erty and turned it over to po­lice, Man­cuso told the judge.

Grim was last seen at 6:34 a.m. Nov. 22, 2013 af­ter drop­ping her son off at the bus stop. In her mo­bile home, Grim’s mother found a spilled cof­fee mug, Grim’s eye­glasses and an over­turned ash­tray, au­thor­i­ties said. State po­lice say they later dis­cov­ered a blood­stain and other signs of a strug­gle.

Grim and Hor­vath shared the same work sched­ule at the or­gan fac­tory. Ac­cord­ing to a search war­rant, Hor­vath was one of sev­eral em­ploy­ees who was ei­ther late or ab­sent from work on the day Grim dis­ap­peared.

Man­cuso de­clined to com­ment af­ter the hearing Fri­day, say­ing only that he could nei­ther con­firm nor deny that he of­fered Hor­vath a plea deal in ex­change for re­veal­ing the lo­ca­tion of Grim’s re­mains.

Wor­thing­ton es­ti­mated that jury se­lec­tion, sched­uled to be­gin Oct. 7, will take a week to seven days to com­plete.

CHRIS KNIGHT/ SPE­CIAL TO THE MORN­ING CALL

Michael Hor­vath faces trial in the 2013 kid­nap­ping and mur­der of Holly Grim.

Grim

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