Bail increased to $3 million for Key Peninsula murder defendant

Staff writerJuly 14, 2014 

William Grisso

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A Pierce County court commissioner increased William Grisso’s bail to $3 million Monday after a deputy prosecutor argued the murder defendant would be a danger to himself and others should he get out of jail before trial.

Grisso, 41, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend, Nancy Gardner-Edwards, who he’d reported missing in late June.

Sheriff’s detectives believe Grisso shot and killed Gardner-Edwards, 45, before dumping her body in Mason County where it was found last week. A motive has not been discussed.

Grisso pleaded not guilty.

At his arraignment Thursday, Court Commissioner Meagan Foley ordered Grisso jailed in lieu of $1 million bail at the request of deputy prosecutor Jared Ausserer.

On Monday, Ausserer was back in Superior Court seeking an increase, which is allowed if circumstances change in some way after an initial amount is set.

Ausserer told Foley the Prosecutor’s Office has received dozens of calls and emails since Thursday from friends, relatives and neighbors of Grisso and Gardner-Edwards, urging the office to seek a higher bail amount.

Grisso has a history of suicide attempts, has received drug- and alcohol-abuse treatment, has undergone psychiatric care and owns several guns, facts that weren’t known to prosecutors last week, Ausserer said.

“Given the additional concerns not only for his safety but for the safety of the community, I’m going to ask the court to increase bail to $3 million,” Ausserer said.

The deputy prosecutor also asked Foley to require Grisso to wear an electronic ankle bracelet with GPS technology should he make bail.

Defense attorney Brett Purtzer, who represented Grisso for the purposes of the bail hearing, did not object, so Foley acquiesced to Ausserer’s request.

Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644 adam.lynn@thenewstribune.com

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