Man accused of gouging his grandmother's eyes commits suicide
Chief Michael Sharkey of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the prisoner Matthew Grief committed suicide on Friday, March 8.
Chief Sharkey noted that Grief apparently used some material wrapped around his neck causing asphyxiation. He was found by an officer at 3:45 a.m. and was immediately transferred to Peconic Bay Medical Center before being transferred to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore. He was pronounced dead at 11:15 p.m.
Chief Sharkey noted that the incident was reported to NYS Commission of Corrections and that an internal investigation is ongoing.
SAYVILLE –A Sayville resident is being accused of gouging out his 78-year-old grandmother’s eyes during a dispute over money last month.
Michael Grief, 30, was charged on Wednesday, Mar. 6, with multiple counts of assault, which allegedly resulted in the victim loosing her sight.
“This is an extremely disturbing case,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini. “We will take all appropriate action to make sure that not only his family is safe, but that the public is safe from this dangerous individual.”
On the evening of Feb. 19, Grief got into an argument with his grandmother at their shared residence on Lincoln Avenue over his use of her credit card, which he allegedly used to overdraw $1,000 from her bank account. His grandmother become fearful and left the house, looking for assistance from a neighbor.
Grief allegedly followed the victim, accosting her outside the neighbor’s house and gouged her eyes out with his fingers, officials said, adding that the force from the assault caused the globes of her eyes to rupture.
Neighbors saw the attack and called the police, who took Grief into custody.
The victim was transported via ambulance to Stony Brook University Hospital, where she underwent surgery for about eights hours in an attempt to save her eyesight. Hospital officials gave her a less than one-percent chance to regain any vision.
“When the defendant was talking to police and was told he had gouged his grandmother’s eyes out, he was very dismissive,” Sini said. “He said, ‘So?’, shrugged his shoulders, and appeared to be apathetic toward the situation.”
Grief’s family says he has a history of mental illness, according to the District Attorney’s office. He also had a prior conviction as a juvenile, officials added. Due to his age at the time, the case is sealed.
If convicted of the recent charges, Grief faces up to 25 years in prison. He is currently being held on $500,000 cash bail or $1 million bond.
“The message here is one about domestic violence: Often people find themselves in situations with their family members where they feel helpless or threatened, and we want to encourage those people to reach out,” Sini said. “If you are in immediate danger, call 911. In non-emergency situations, you can also reach out to the District Attorney’s office and we can put you in contact with a victim’s advocate who can empower you and help you investigate the process of ensuring your safety.”
Grief is due back in court in next Friday.
~ Compiled by Anthony Perrotta
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