Vasile Graure, Good Guys Arsonist, Sentenced Today

Vasile Graure, the man found guilty by jury back in November, 2008, was finally sentenced today after several delays and reschedulings. Today, Judge Robert I. Richter sentenced him to 30 years and 8 months behind bars for setting Vladimir Djordjevic and the Good Guys club on fire. On November 20, the jury – of which I was a member – found Graure guilty of three counts of Assault with Intent to Kill While Armed (gasoline and a lighter); four counts of Assault with A Dangerous Weapon; Aggravated Assault While Armed (gasoline and a lighter); Mayhem While Armed; Arson; two counts of Burglary II; and Felony Destruction of Property. (U.S. Department of Justice press release here)

I have a strong sense that Graure is still actively attempting to maneuver to find a way out of this mess. Among the snags delaying the sentencing were the dismissal of Graure’s attorney, Premal Dharia, on January 28 and appointing her replacement Mr. Daniel Quillin. On the same date, the defense filed a motion for ineffective counsel.

I personally found Graure to be disturbing. After listening to testimony and cross examination for the better part of two weeks, his seeming complete and utter detachment to the events unfolding around him caused me concern. It was only on the very rare occasion that something prompted him to interact with his attorneys. The Sexist has a good day by day account that you can read here.

My assessment of Graure is that he is an intelligent, calculating person that leaves no perceived wrong unchallenged. The amount of time needed for him to perpetrate this crime, and number of actions required from the time he left Good Guys to the time of his return — while appearing calm, cool, and collected the entire time — instilled in me the sense that he was fully aware of his actions and the consequenses of those actions.

Deciding this case was difficult. While the entire jury had no doubt that Graure did in fact set this fire – supported by the verdict we handed down – we spent the lion’s share of deliberations debating the intent of his actions. It is impossible to get inside someone’s head and know for certain what they intended to do by their actions, but I am confident that our verdict was just.

WUSA9 had a good summary of this mornings events, which you can read here>>

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