Former Lehigh University student facing murder charge


A former Lehigh University student is facing a murder charge in Orange, Conn., in the investigation of his mother’s death.

Timothy Granata, 22, was arrested Thursday and charged with the murder of his mother,Claudia Granata, 58, in their family home in Orange. He was arraigned Friday and appeared in a local court in Derby, Conn. Granata’s lawyer, Charles E. Tiernan III, indicated to the judge that Granata suffered from psychological problems and told The Hartford Courant that he has been hospitalized in the past six to eight months.

imothy Granata. | Photo courtesy of Orange Live

Timothy Granata. | Photo courtesy of Orange Live

The judge granted Tiernan’s request that Granata be sent to the psychiatric unit in the Garner Correctional Institution. He will appear in court again on Aug. 5, and his bond is set at $2 million.

The Orange Police Department responded to a reported homicide just after 2 p.m. Thursday afternoon at Granata’s family residence in Orange, police said. A press release distributed by the police department said police found Granata wandering the street a short distance from the house.

Orange police Chief Robert Gagne told reporters in a press conference Thursday that Granata “willingly submitted to the arrest very quickly.” According to court documents cited by The Hartford Courant, Granata was found with blood on his clothing, carrying a cell phone and a bible, and told police that he “killed her” and “stabbed her.”

The victim was found in a room inside the house and was pronounced dead on the scene by paramedics. An autopsy was performed, and Gagne revealed in a press conference Friday that the cause of death was found to be “blunt impact and sharp forced injury of the head, neck, torso and extremities,” and her death was ruled as a homicide.

Police were alerted of the killing by several 911 calls — one they think was from Granata himself, Orange Live reported.

Granata was a Lehigh University student and was a member of the wrestling team during the 2010-2011 season when he was a first-year student. Jordan Reese, Lehigh’s Director of Media Relations, said Granata is not currently enrolled as a student and did not know when his status changed.

The investigation is ongoing, and the Orange Police is receiving help from the Connecticut State Police Central District crime squad. According to Gagne, the killing is the first murder in Orange in more than 20 years, the last being when George Young was accused of murdering his mother in 1992.

“The Granata family has asked us to convey that they wish to thank everyone for rallying around them at this difficult and tragic time and are grateful for the prayers and thoughts,” Gagne said in Thursday’s press conference.

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