ELYRIA — Against the advice of his attorney and the wishes of his mother, Adam Grimes pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder and felonious assault charges for killing Melanie Hruby in December.
Grimes, 25, had originally been due in court on a motion from prosecutors to remove his attorney, Kenneth Lieux, from the case, because Lieux once represented Hruby. Instead, Grimes sent letters to Lieux, prosecutors and Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Christopher Rothgery insisting that he wanted to plead guilty and serve a prison sentence of 15 years to life.
“I feel bad for what I have done, and I won’t have some pathologist say that hadn’t she been on drugs, she would still be alive,” Grimes wrote in his letter to Rothgery. “That would be bogus and injustice. It would not be right to her or her family.”
Grimes was arrested outside the Avon Belden Road home Dec. 18 after he called a friend and said he had “hurt or killed his girlfriend” and was driving around in her van. The friend called 911 and deputies were sent to the house.
County sheriff’s deputies reported that Grimes told them that the pair had been doing drugs earlier in the day and began arguing. He said he hit Hruby, 29, and she hit him back. He then said he struck her again, knocking her unconscious and carrying her upstairs before choking her.
Grimes became upset when he was told Hruby was dead, according to deputies. Hruby’s family has denied the single mother was involved with Grimes.
Lieux said he felt that Grimes should have at least had an expert take a closer look at the evidence in the case before entering a plea, but his client was insistent.
Lieux had hoped to hire a specialist to examine the findings of county Coroner Stephen Evans, who ruled that Hruby died from being beaten and strangled.
Lieux said he had questions about what role drugs played in Hruby’s death. She had heroin, codeine and other drugs in her system when she died, according to a toxicology report. A search warrant indicated that drug paraphernalia was found in Grimes’ Eaton Township home along with Hruby’s body.
“He loved Melanie. He didn’t intend for her to die. They just had an argument that got out of control,” Lieux said after the hearing. “He feels horrible and extremely guilty over her death. He wanted to accept responsibility for that and spare the family the rigors of a trial and having to relive her death in court.”
In his letter to Rothgery, Grimes also wrote that he was desperate to get out of the Lorain County Jail because he feared he might commit suicide.
“I am going nuts,” Grimes wrote. “All there is for me to do here is sit around all day and think about my ex and how I caused her death.”
County Prosecutor Dennis Will said it’s rare for criminal defendants to push so hard to enter guilty pleas.
“We’ve had a couple do that who just wanted to go in and plead and just get it over with,” Will said. “But I can tell you it’s not the norm.”
Grimes is scheduled to be sentenced May 15.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.