Citing the testimony of an alleged eyewitness, state authorities on Thursday accused a state prison inmate from Johnstown of killing a man in the city’s West End in 2017.
An agent from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General filed a first-degree murder charge against Mizzon Unique Grandinetti, 20, of SCI-Benner Township, in connection with the May 1, 2017, shooting death of 21-year-old Barron Grumbling.
“Today, Mizzon Grandinetti has been charged for the murder of Barron Grumbling, whom he allegedly shot at close range on the street, based on testimony heard from an eyewitness,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a press release announcing the filing of the charge. “At the recommendation of the 46th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury, he has been charged with first-degree murder.”
Grumbling was shot and killed at the corner of Corinne Avenue and Merle Place. Detective Mark Britton, of the Johnstown Police Department, told the grand jury that Grumbling had been shot twice, once in the head and once in the back, and that a third bullet was found lodged in a nearby porch.
According to the criminal complaint against Grandinetti, the grand jury heard testimony about Grumbling’s murder from two people, one who was allegedly an eyewitness to the shooting and one to whom Grandinetti allegedly confessed later. Neither was named in the complaint.
The alleged eyewitness told the grand jury that he, Grandinetti and Grumbling were walking together when Grandinetti shot Grumbling with what appeared to be a snub-nose .357-caliber firearm, according to the complaint. Britton told the grand jury that this eyewitness had told police that Grandinetti had slowed and bent down as if to tie his shoe, then fired three shots at Grumbling as he and the witness walked on ahead.
Grandinetti was previously named by authorities as the gunman who killed 30-year-old Carol Ashcom in 2015. Investigators alleged he acted at the direction of his uncle, Shakir Mosi Smith, who was accused of ordering Ashcom’s murder because her work as a confidential informant was key to a then-pending drug case against him.
Smith, 43, was convicted by a jury Oct. 1 of first-degree murder and criminal solicitation to commit first-degree murder in connection with Ashcom’s death, and he was sentenced Oct. 22 to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Grandinetti has not been charged in connection with Ashcom’s murder, and he denied committing it when he testified at Smith’s trial. He was 14 when Ashcom was killed and 16 at the time of Grumbling’s murder.
He is currently serving a four- to eight-year state prison sentence imposed in August 2019 on drug and reckless endangerment charges in a separate case. Prison staff served him on Thursday afternoon with the paperwork charging him as an adult with Grumbling’s murder; he is expected to be arraigned by video at a later date.
Court records do not list an attorney for Grandinetti.