A New York man accused of gouging out his own grandmother's eyeballs in a vicious attack during an argument over $1,000 he withdrew from her account has reportedly committed suicide while behind bars.
Michael Grief, 30, of Sayville, Long Island, allegedly attacked his grandmother Sheila Grief on Feb. 19 after he overdrew money from her account, according to 1010 WINS, a New York City-based radio station. She survived the attack after running to a neighbor for help, and at least one neighbor called 911. Sheila is expected to remain permanently blind.
Grief was charged with three counts of violent assault earlier this month.
“Using his thumbs, he gouged his grandmother’s eyes -- one at a time -- with such force that the globes of her eyes ruptured,” Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini said, according to WCBS 880 News Radio in New York. He added that Grief didn’t appear too upset over his grandmother’s condition.
“This is an individual who when he was told essentially, ‘You gouged your grandmother’s eyes out,’ said ‘So?’ and shrugged his shoulders,” he said.
Now it appears he took his own life.
Grief was pronounced dead Friday night inside Suffolk County jail. Hours earlier a guard found him hanging in his cell, Newsday reports. He was not on suicide watch at the time. Jail officials will conduct an investigation into his death.
He was reportedly raised by his grandmother and had a history of mental health issues. He was being held on a $500,000 cash bail and a $1 million bond. He faced up to 25 years for the alleged attack.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.