John Granat Murders Parents In Illinois

John Granat was a seventeen year old teen killer from Illinois when he arranged the murders of his parents

According to court documents John Granat was upset that his parents confiscated his marijuana plants and grounded him so he decided to kill them. Granat would recruit three friends: Christopher Wyma, Ehab Qasem and Mohammed Salahat in order to pull off the double murder

Mohammed Salahat would drop off Christopher Wyma and Ehab Qasem at the end of the block. When the two teen killers reached the Granat home they were met by John Granat who would show the pair a stack of hundred dollar bills they would receive following the murder

Christopher Wyma and Ehab Qasem would beat the two victims, John and Maria Granat, to death with a baseball bat

John Granat would call 911 and tell operators that he discovered his parents dead in their beds and believed they were victims to a home invasion. Needless to say his story fell apart pretty quickly

John Granat would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to life in prison

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John Granat Case

A jury deliberated less than two hours before delivering a guilty verdict for a former Palos Park man accused of grooming three friends to murder his parents.

John Granat, 22, was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder of his parents, John and Maria Granat. Granat was emotionless as the verdict was announced.

Maria’s sister, Kathy, sobbed quietly in the courtroom. After her nephew was led away, she hugged Cook County assistant state’s attorneys Donna Norton and Deborah Lawler. Less than 20 minutes later, the family went back to courtroom when a verdict was reached for Granat’s accomplice, former best friend Christopher Wyma.

The week-long trial was marked by dramatic testimony by star witness and co-defendant Ehab Qasem. In exchange for his testimony, Qasem agreed to plead guilty to one count of murder and a 40-year sentence in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

John Granat was 17 years old and a senior at Stagg High School when he called 911 to report that he slept through a home invasion and found his parents bludgeoned to death and “drowning in their own blood” on Sept. 11, 2011.

The now 22-year-old man listened impassively as Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Deborah Lawler described how Granat “kept his little paws clean counting money” as his two friends, Wyma and Qasem crept up the stairs of his parents home and beat them both to death with aluminum baseball bats.

“John and Maria could not possibly know or conceive what their only child, their baby boy, had planned,” Lawler said. “What the defendant did to his own parents is unimaginable. It takes our breath away with its sheer callousness.”

Cook County Sheriff’s detectives were on to the high schooler from the start after he said he’d been at home all night and fallen asleep in the basement. Granat’s alibi began falling apart after he was confronted about being pulled over by a Palos Heights police officer in an early morning traffic stop.

Furious and angry that his parents threw away his “little marijuana plants growing in the backyard and grounded him,” Lawler said Granat began plotting to kill his parents in the summer of 2011.

“He began scouting out people to execute his plan. He chose his best friend, Christopher Wyma, and good friends Ehab Qasem and Mohammed Salahat,” Lawler said. “He didn’t care how it was done or if his parents suffered horribly.”

After the fourth accomplice, Salahat, dropped Wyma and Qasem at the end of the Granats’ block, they were met by the young master plotter, who was hiding outside the family’s home in the bushes. Salahat left the pair and drove around the area while the murders were going down.

Lawler said that Granat made sure the first thing his friends saw when they entered the garage of the home that his father “built with his own two hands” were the stacks of money piled on a work bench.

“He made sure that his accomplices saw the stacks and stacks of one-hundred dollar bills that he had already gathered and stolen from his parents,” Lawler said.

During their first ascent up the stairs to the couple’s bedroom, Wyma’s and Qasem’s bats clinked together, sending both “speed walking” back to the garage, where Granat told them to “take care of it.”

As Qasem and Wyma stood over the sleeping couple with bats raised, John and Maria “cried and screamed” with the initial blows. As Maria took her last breaths, Granat handed Qasem a knife and told him to “finish it.”

“Maria’s skull was so badly beaten, it fell apart in [medical examiner James Philkins’ hands] like broken egg shell,” Lawler said.

Qasem stabbed the woman in the stomach, then handed the knife to Granat, while Qasem went up to the attic to look for a safe with a money.

Lawler told the jurors that in Illinois, a person is legally responsible for his or her conduct when soliciting others to do criminal acts.

“He didn’t have the courage to do it alone,” she said. “His (Granat’s) hand was on that bat and on that knife. So was Mohammed Salahat. He was responsible for the strike of those bats and the stab of that knife.”

Granat’s assistant public defender LaFonzo Palmer called the case horrific and said the teen didn’t kill his parents.

“John didn’t plan to kill anyone,” Palmer said. “He didn’t choose the weapons or tell anyone what to say to police.”

Palmer said Granat was stupid and hanging out with the bad kids.

“He was a dumb kid trying to buy friends and be a tough guy,” Palmer said. “He hung out at Chris’s house, getting high, doing blunt runs, because his father who’s a cop and his mother don’t care.”

Palmer also tried to impeach co-defendant Qasem’s testimony, stating his testimony was “bought” by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office in exchange for a plea deal of one count of first degree murder and 40 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Salahat, the driver, accepted a similar plea deal last year.

Jurors listened to five days of testimony before Judge Neil Linehan in the Bridgeview Courthouse, including interrogation videos, crime scene photos, testimony by police officers, the Cook County Medical Examiner and cellular tower experts.

John Granat and Wyma were being tried together but with separate juries at the Bridgeview Courthouse.

John Granat is due back for post-trial motions on Feb. 24, but sentencing is not expected to take place. His attorney, Palmer, told Judge Neil Linehan that he planned to bring “mitigation experts” to testify at Granat’s sentencing

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A former Stagg High School student’s appeal of his 2017 first-degree murder conviction in the slayings of his parents was denied last month after a judge rejected his request for a new trial.

John Granat was a 17-year-old high school senior when prosecutors said he showered three friends with money and gifts to persuade them to help him murder his parents in September 2011. Granat claimed in his appeal that the trial judge erred when he denied motions to quash his arrest and suppress evidence obtained without a search warrant.

Prosecutors said Granat and his friends, fellow Stagg senior Christopher Wyma, 17; Ehab Qasem, 19, of Hickory Hills; and Mohommad Salahat, who would turn 17 a few days after the murders, arrived at the Granat home in the 12700 block of 81st Avenue in unincorporated Palos Park, in the early morning hours of Sept. 11, 2011.

While Salahat drove around the neighborhood, Wyma and Qasem, acting on Granat’s orders, beat Granat’s parents to death with aluminum baseball bats while the couple were asleep in their beds, prosecutors said. Later, according to prosecutors, the teens went to Wyma’s home in Bridgeview, where the four destroyed evidence and divided up $40,000 cash found in the Granat house. Prosecutors said the four teens orchestrated the murders on Skype, using the code word “concert.”

Around 7:18 a.m. Sept. 11, 2011, prosecutors said Granat called 911 to report that he had found his parents, John, 44, and Maria, 42, dead in the bedroom of their upscale home. Granat told the 911 dispatcher that his parents were “drowning in their own blood” when he went to wake them for church. The teen also claimed he was a “hard sleeper” and was asleep in the basement while his parents were being murdered upstairs, according to court testimony.

When officers arrived at the Granat home, they found no signs of forced entry, although the second floor where his parents’ master bedroom was located had been ransacked. The high school senior repeated that he had been home all night with his parents. Prosecutors said Granat’s demeanor was unusually calm, considering that he was freshly orphaned. He told Cook County Sheriff’s Officer Elizabeth Hogan that he would have to take over his father’s contracting business or “20 people would be out of work.” Later, he asked if the fire department was going to “clean the mess” inside the house because he planned to keep living there, prosecutors said.

Det. Sgt. Stephen Moody, of the Cook County Sheriff’s Police, was the lead investigator on the scene. He said Granat’s alibi began falling apart when Palos Heights Officer Christopher Hordorowicz told Moody how he had stopped a nervous, mumbling Granat at 5:18 a.m. for a broken rear reflector light on his Jeep, a few hours before the teen placed the 911 call. Granat said he had been at a friend’s house in Bridgeview. After the officer noticed a bottle of bleach in the car, Granat said it was for cleaning his pool, but the Granat home did not have a pool, prosecutors said.

Moody decided to detain John Granat at the police station. When he arrived at Maywood headquarters, Granat was watching the Chicago Bears game. As Moody and his partner interrogated Granat, the high school senior repeated that he was asleep in the basement the morning of his parents’ murders because his bedroom was hot.

Confronted about the early morning traffic stop when he claimed to be at home sleeping, police said John Granat admitted going to co-defendant Wyma’s house in Bridgeview, where he and other youths had gathered to smoke weed on the front porch. After falling asleep on a sofa on the front porch, Granat told the detectives that Wyma woke him up around 5 a.m. because his father, a Palos Hills police officer, would be coming home from work. Granat said he fell asleep in the Jeep in his driveway after being stopped by Hordorowicz.

“I find it hard to believe that Chris’s father, who’s a cop, is going to let you kids smoke weed on the front porch,” Moody told Granat.

John Granat was charged in his parents murders’ on Sept. 13, 2011. A month later, Wyma, Salahat and Qasem were arrested and also charged with first-degree murder. The three had continued going to school in the month leading up to their arrests.

In January 2017, John Granat and Wyma were tried together before two juries. Both were convicted and sentenced to life without parole in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

John Granat’s attorneys filed an appeal contending that the trial judge — Neil Linehan — erred in denying a motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence because police arrested without a warrant or probable cause “based on a hunch” that Granat was “involved in an instant crime.”

Illinois Appellate Justice James Fitzgerald Smith denied John Granat’s motion to reverse his conviction or grant a new trial, supported by Justices Aurelia Pucinski and Terrence Levin.

“[The t]rial court properly denied defendant’s motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence where there was sufficient probable cause for [the] defendant’s warrantless arrest, as the totality of the circumstances present to police at the time justified belief that his parents were murdered and that he was the perpetrator,” the ruling said.

In exchange for Qasem’s testimony during John Granat and Wyma’s double-murder trial, Qasem received a 40-year sentence for one count of murder. Salahat, who was 16 at the time of the murders, agreed to a similar plea in 2016.

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