A New York City man was arrested after he let a friend charged with shooting a Massachusetts state trooper stay at his place in the Bronx and then lied when U.S. marshals arrived, authorities said Monday.
Grant Grandison, 35, was ordered freed on bail in Manhattan federal court over the objection of prosecutors. The encounter Friday resulted in a gunfight in which the fugitive, Andre K. Sterling, was killed and two deputy U.S. marshals were injured.
At Monday's hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexandra Rothman sought detention for Grandison, saying there was a "truly horrific" result to his crimes of harboring a fugitive and making false statements.
"It could have been so much worse," Rothman said, adding that five unspent rounds were found in Sterling's gun.
Defense attorney Amy Gallicchio said her client "merely opened the door" for authorities to enter his apartment and did not condone anything afterward.
She said he had a supportive wife and a long history of employment and cooperated fully, including giving investigators the password to his phone and submitting to a videotaped interview.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn noted that Grandison, 35, was a college graduate with no history of violence and a legitimate job as a party planner as she concluded he was not dangerous or a risk to flee. She set bail at $100,000 and ordered electronic monitoring.
The judge described the deputy marshals as "two of our own" because they protect the Manhattan courthouse and its occupants. She said word of the shooting "ran through the courthouse like wildfire and all of us were extremely concerned and extremely upset by the news."
She said everyone was grateful to hear they were recovering well and were likely to be released from a hospital soon. One deputy marshal was struck in the leg and another in the leg and arm.
Grandison let Sterling, 35, stay in his apartment in the Wakefield neighborhood six days after Massachusetts State Trooper John Lennon was shot in the hand on Nov. 20 during a late-night traffic stop in Hyannis on Cape Cod, authorities said. The trooper was hospitalized for several days.
In a release, acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said "Grandison's conduct led to the horrific shooting of two Deputy United States Marshals who were just doing their jobs."
Rothman said a New York City police officer was also injured.
U.S. Marshal Ralph Sozio called the deputy marshals' actions heroic.
According to a criminal complaint, Grandison claimed nobody else was in his apartment when U.S. marshals arrived, along with New York City police officers and Massachusetts state troopers.
When the marshals entered, Sterling began shooting at them, leading to his death when the marshals returned fire, the complaint said.
After he was taken into custody Friday, Grandison told investigators he had been friends with Sterling since 2005 and agreed to let him stay after Sterling arrived from Boston, the complaint said.
The court papers said Sterling told Grandison that if anybody came looking for him, Grandison had to deny that he was there.