Lawyer: Alleged Driver Was Almost The Third Victim in the Granat Killings
Mohammad Salahat's lawyer says his client was recruited as the "fall guy" in the Granat murders.
The lawyer for the youngest of the four teens accused of killing a Palos Township couple says his client was almost the third victim that night.
The four teens charged in the Sept. 11 beating deaths of Palos Township couple John and Maria Granat appeared in court Monday. All four are set to reappear for arraignment on Nov. 17.
After the hearing, Joel Brodsky, the attorney for Mohammad Salahat, 17, raised his own questions about his client's role in the killings.
"Not only is he innocent, but if John Granat hadn't been stopped by police the night of the killings, Mohammd Salahat would have been the third victim of the other three young men," Brodsky said.
Granat was stopped by Palos Heights police for a traffic violation at 5:18 a.m. on Sept. 11.
Salahat, who was 16 years old on the night of the killings, was described by prosecutors as the driver. Christopher Wyma, 17, Ehab Qasem, 19, and John Granat, 17, beat and stabbed the Granats to death in their bedroom while Salahat remained in a car outside the home, prosecutors said.
However, prosecutors argue that Salahat was fully aware of what was happening inside the home.
Salahat is the only one of the four accused to not have attended Stagg High School in Palos Hills. Granat and Wyma were seniors, and Qasem a recent graduate.
Brodsky says that Salahat only met the other boys several weeks before the killings. He cites Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart's statement that Salahat remained in the car during the killings as evidence that his role might not be as clear cut as prosecutors allege.
"It becomes apparent that Mohammad (Salahat) was intended to be the fall guy and he is innocent of the charges against him," Brodsky said.