A Vietnam War veteran described as suffering from an extremely severe case of post traumatic stress syndrome was sentenced to two consecutive prison terms of one to 15 years Friday for a fatal shooting at a South Salt Lake trailer home in July.
Marion Sam Grubaugh, 42, was sentenced on charges of manslaughter and burglary in connection with the shooting death of Danny Criscola, 44, who died of a gunshot wound after Grubaugh broke down the door of the trailer and fired five shots from a .22-caliber rifle. The shooting followed an argument between the two men that began at a Murray bar and continued in the car Criscola was driving.Criscola stopped the car and pulled Grubaugh out. Grubaugh then went to an acquaintance's house where he got the rifle and then went to the trailer, at 3114 S. 20 East, where he shot Criscola.
Defense attorney Jim Bradshaw said effects of Grubaugh's post traumatic stress are not a defense in the case but pose mitigating circumstances that led Bradshaw to ask 3rd District Judge Homer Wilkinson to commit Grubaugh for a 90-day evaluation. Psychiatrists who evaluated Grubaugh found him to be suffering from one of the most severe cases of post traumatic stress syndrome they had seen, Bradshaw said.
The post traumatic stress was fed by Grubaugh's Army tour in Vietnam but began as an infant, Bradshaw said, explaining that Grubaugh's father tied him in a gunny sack and left him at the side of the road as an infant. At age 3, Grubaugh watched his father shoot his mother seven times.
Salt Lake County prosecutor Marty Verhoef said he, too, suffers from post traumatic stress syndrome from his military service in Vietnam but argued the condition is not an excuse for violent behavior. He encouraged the judge to proceed with a prison sentence, saying Grubaugh's ability to plea bargain the original criminal homicide charge down to manslaughter "gave him his benefit."
Wilkinson handed down the prison sentence, saying his uppermost consideration was to protect the residents of the state. He also ordered Grubaugh to pay $1,943 in restitution - the amount of Criscola's funeral expenses.
At the Friday sentencing, Grubaugh stated his "sincerest apologies to the Criscola family," acknowledging the apology did not compensate for Criscola's death, "but it is all I can do."