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Crossbow murderer to appear before parole board

Melissa Grasa
Melissa Grasa
ODRC

On May 31, 2014, an online petition was gearing up speed in an attempt at keeping a convicted murderer behind bars. The woman convicted in the aggravated murder of her husband in 1994 will appear before the Ohio Parole Board in July. Melissa Grasa, 46, was found guilty in the Butler County Common Pleas court, along with her paramour, Ronald Branham. Grasa and Branham were having an affair. According to court records, on December 2, 1993, Branham was hiding in the basement of the Liberty Township home that Grasa shared with her husband, Michael Grasa. Michael Grasa had gone to bed early in preparation for a business trip the next day when Melissa Grasa summoned for Branham to come upstairs. Once upstairs, Branham shot Michael Grasa in the head with a crossbow. When Melissa Grasa noticed that her husand was still alive, she instructed Branham to shoot him again. This time the arrow severed the spinal cord, killing him. The crossbow was located by investigators in Branham's car.

In 2011, Michael and Melissa's son, Nathan Grasa, 26 was found dead in Middletown from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Apparently Nathan was intoxicated and got a gun out to scare his girlfriend and another woman in the home. He put the gun to his head, thinking the safety was on. By the time police arrived at the scene, Nathan Grasa was dead. The Grasa's also have two daughters, Amanda Neeley and Ashlie Grasa.

Ronald Branham was sentenced to life in prison with the chance of parole after 23 years. Branham appealed his conviction in the Ohio Supreme Court, but the conviction was upheld.

This is the first parole board hearing for Melissa Grasa. She is currently serving time at the Dayton Correctional Institution.

Anyone wanted to send letters to the Ohio Parole board may write to: Ohio Parole Board, Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, 770 West Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43222. Make sure you include the defendants name Melissa Grasa and her prisoner ID # is W034713.