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Ex-Lehigh wrestler Tim Granata arraigned for murder of his mother

Tim Granata (left) in his Lehigh wrestling portrait, (right) in Orange Police photo
Tim Granata (left) in his Lehigh wrestling portrait, (right) in Orange Police photo
Photos (from left) courtesy of Lehigh University, Orange (Conn.

Tim Granata, a Lehigh University student who had been on the Mountain Hawks wrestling team in 2010, was arraigned Friday for the murder of his mother Thursday in her home in Connecticut, according to multiple media reports.

Granata, 22, appeared in Superior Court in Derby, Conn. on charges that he killed his mother Claudia Granata, 58, in their home in Orange, Conn. on Thursday, the “Hartford Courant” reported Friday. Bail was set at $2 million.

Granata is next scheduled to appear in court on the charges on Aug. 5. In the meantime, the judge agreed to a defense request to send Granata to a prison psychiatric unit for evaluation, according to the “Norwich Bulletin”.

A police report released by the court said Timothy Granata called 911 at 2:20 p.m. and told them he had just committed a murder. When police arrived, they found him walking down the street where his mother had lived, carrying a cellphone in his left hand and a Bible in his right.

Police said that as Granata was being arrested he repeatedly said "I killed her" and "I stabbed her," referring to his mother.

The medical examiner's office said Friday the cause of Claudia Granata's death was blunt impact and sharp force injury to the head, neck, torso and extremities, the Norwich paper reported. The examiner ruled the death a homicide.

Tim Granata’s attorney, Charles Tiernan III, said that it was his understanding the accused has a psychiatric history. He said the judge agreed to recommend Granata be sent to Garner Correctional Institution, which has a psychiatric unit, for evaluation.

Outside the courtroom, Tiernan said, "There's some indication that (Tim Granata) may have had a hospitalization at some time.” The attorney added that this hospitalization might have occurred within the last six to eight months but that Granata was not currently taking any medication.

“It's a horrible, horrible tragedy," Tiernan said. "My heart goes out to the family. We have to do our best to represent Timothy, and that's what we're going to do."

Claudia Granata is survived by her husband, and a total of four children including Tim.

Timothy Granata is a graduate of the Hopkins School in New Haven, Conn, where, he was a two-time National Prep qualifier, posting a 3-2 record in both the 2009 and 2010 preps, according to a 2010 Lehigh press release announcing incoming wrestlers. He was a student at Lehigh, where he was close to completing his degree, according to the “Hartford Courant”. He is listed on the Lehigh wrestling website’s team roster for the 2010-11 season as a freshman, slated to wrestle heavyweight. According to that website, Granata lost an October 2010 wrestle-off to 184-pound senior Kadeem Samuels. The website shows a 3-2 record for Granata as a Lehigh wrestler, with all his matches at a tournament at University at Buffalo in November 2010 in the 285-pound weight class.

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