The Grabe tragedy

Any way you look at it, the murder of Jacob Grabe was family tragedy different from most killings that occur. This wasn’t a murder that stemmed from sex, money, drugs or other such causes.

There was Jacob, a 13-year-old special-needs child with a disorder similar to autism. There was his father, Allen Grabe, who was certainly troubled, if not delusional as his defense attorneys claimed, when he walked into his son’s bedroom on Sept. 11, 2008, and fired multiple bullets into sleeping Jacob. And there is wife and mother Jaquette Grabe, who has now lost her son to death and her husband to a lifetime prison sentence.

We respect the jury’s decision this week to find Allen Grabe guilty of first-degree murder. Despite testimony that suggested Grabe was possessed by Satan and heard messages from Jesus, the jury concluded he knew right from wrong when he killed Jacob. Therefore, the insanity plea didn’t work.

It couldn’t have been easy for the jury to reach that conclusion, even though the verdict came relatively quickly. Then agan, unlike so many other murder cases, it’s hard to imagine exactly how justice would have been best served in this tragic case.


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