Woman accused of killing mother was bipolar, letter states

Daughter stabbed victim multiple times, police say

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 27 2012 10:00 a.m. MST

In a handwritten letter submitted to the court in June, Zita Gruodis appeared to be asking the court for help. In her one-page letter written in broken English, Gruodis wrote that her daughter "didn't have medications" and appears to describe her behavior as insane.

"… How she behave, it was insene," she wrote. "I just have one daughter, and she does'n have freedom."

Gruodis claimed the police department forced her to get a protective order because an ambulance had been called to her house.

David Sollis, the landlord of Zita Gruodis, said he believes the system let his friend down. He believes her daughter should have been committed to a mental health facility if for no other reason than to protect her mother.

"Institutionalized, no ifs ands or buts. She is a threat to society and has been ever since they let her out approximately three years ago," he said of Airida Gruodis. "(Zita) loved her daughter. But she couldn't control her daughter's medications."

Sollis said Zita Gruodis had been having a "hard go" the past few years because of issues with her daughter.

"How much can you do for an adult child that apparently has some serious mental issues?" he questioned.

When Sollis heard about Zita's death, "I pretty much suspected what the ultimate cause was," he said.

A check of Utah state court records shows a tumultuous history with the Gruodis family. Airida Gruodis was accepted into Mental Health Court in August after being charged with assault by a prisoner, a third-degree felony. According to court records, she kicked an officer at the jail who was trying to get her ready to go to court.

But court officials say despite being accepted, she never attended her first session because she was still receiving in-patient treatment at a local hospital.

In February, Airida Gruodis was charged with violating a protective order, a third-degree felony, after she showed up at her mother's house.

In 2011, Airida Gruodis pleaded no contest to an amended charge of attempted violation of an protective order. She was sentenced to probation. In 2010, she was found guilty in Holladay Justice Court of two counts of misdemeanor assault resulting from separate domestic violence cases and intoxication.

Zita Gruodis also took a plea in abeyance to misdemeanor assault in a domestic violence case in 2010. She also sought protection orders from her daughter in 2010 and 2001, according to court records.

Zita Gruodis was the owner of Zita's European Massage in Holladay.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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