Grattan in Court

By: Lauren McKay
By: Lauren McKay

A Bridgewater man accused of murdering his neighbor and holding police at bay for more than 20 hours has been found guilty of 16 felony charges. Jonathan Grattan was charged with first degree murder, aggravated malicious wounding, and six counts of attempted capitol murder of law enforcement officers.

On April 30 of last year, Grattan shot neighbors William and Carol Gardner as they were leaving their Rockingham County home. Carol was pronounced dead at the scene. The incident led to a 20-hour standoff at the victim's Bridgewater home. Police say that is where Grattan shot at police and eventually surrendered.

In court Monday Jonathan Grattan pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. He then waived his right to a trial by jury and his right to cross examine witnesses. It was essentially an abbreviated bench trial with a proffer of evidence.

April 30, 2006, that's the day police responded to a shooting on Donnelly Drive in Bridgewater. They found 54-year-old Carol Gardner dead and her husband William Gardner with gunshot wounds. In court Commonwealth's Attorney Marsha Garst said Grattan admitted to police that he shot Carol Gardner because she yelled at him about riding his motorcycle, that he wasn't sorry and that he would do it again. Police say Grattan barricaded himself inside a residence with his grandmother.

They say he had a semi-automatic AK47 with a storage area full of ammunition. That's the weapon Garst says Grattan used to kill Carol and shoot at police. After a 20-hour standoff with police, Grattan surrendered. Garst says according to Grattan he surrendered when police sent a robot into his house and he saw barrels on the robot. The defense admitted that Jonathan Grattan was the shooter and the killer of Carol Gardner.

Then the defense presented a proffer of evidence that Grattan is mentally ill. The defense stated that Grattan had been hospitalized in a psychiatric ward in November of 2005 and that he had previously used marijuana and methamphetamine.

According to the defense, experts say Grattan suffers from Schizophrenia. They say he fits the Virginia definition of insanity.

As William Gardner was leaving the courthouse, he said that there are no winners in this and that Carol is never coming back. Grattan's presentencing is set for May.


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