Defense: Deal offered for rest of Grim’s remains
Man accused of killing and burying Lower Macungie woman in his backyard
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.
Michael Horvath faces trial in the 2013 kidnapping and murder of Holly Grim.