A Vietnam War veteran charged with shooting another man to death in his South Salt Lake trailer home last summer has pleaded guilty to reduced charges and will be sentenced later this month.
Marion Sam Grubaugh, 42, was originally charged with second-degree murder and aggravated burglary, both first-degree felonies, in connection with the shooting death of Danny Criscola, 44, of Salt Lake City, on July 12. Grubaugh pleaded guilty to manslaughter and aggravated burglary of a dwelling, both second-degree felonies, as part of a plea bargain with the Salt Lake County attorney's office.He will be sentenced Feb. 22 before 3rd District Judge Homer Wilkinson.
On July 12, Grubaugh and Criscola got into an argument at a Murray bar that continued as they were returning home. A woman with them testified that Criscola stopped the car he was driving, yanked Grubaugh from the vehicle and threw him onto the street before driving off.
Other witnesses testified that about an hour later, a gunman kicked in the front door of a trailer at 3114 S. 200 East and fired four shots from a .22-caliber rifle. One of the bullets hit Criscola in the left side, killing him.
Police and SWAT teams surrounded the trailer court following the shooting. When they stormed the trailer hours later, they found Criscola dead, but the gunman had fled. Grubaugh was captured two days later. Court documents indicate he had changed his appearance.
Prosecutors said Grubaugh has mental problems and suffers from post-traumatic stress from the Vietnam War. They allowed him to plead to the lesser manslaughter charge partly in order to prevent risking a possible acquittal because of his illness. He faces possible sentences of one to 15 years for each of the two charges.