News

Jury trial set for man with 15 prior felony convictions

Man accused of intruding into Atherton home, burglarizing Menlo Park home

A man with 15 prior felony convictions and identified as a suspect in the 2014 intrusion into an Atherton home and the burglary of a Menlo Park home is set to have a jury trial in San Mateo County Superior Court on Feb. 2.

James Grady, 61, of East Palo Alto, is charged under California's three-strikes law, according to District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. If convicted he could face a life sentence.

After an Atherton resident heard a man enter his home in the early morning hours of Jan. 20, 2014, the suspect led police on a chase through Atherton and into Menlo Park. During the chase, Mr. Grady dropped his jacket, with cellphone and identification in the pockets, prosecutors said.

The man eluded police by wiggling through a dog door into a home on Harmon Drive in Menlo Park, Mr. Wagstaffe said. The residents were not home, and the man is accused of hiding out, drinking tequila and beer, and stealing $62,000 in jewelry and other property before leaving.

In addition to dropping his jacket, Mr. Wagstaffe said the man left fingerprints and DNA on the alcohol bottles in the Menlo Park home. After Mr. Grady was arrested weeks later in Oakland, the Atherton resident also identified him, Mr. Wagstaffe said.

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Comments

4 people like this
Posted by Fact checking?
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 21, 2015 at 1:18 pm

To reporter Barbara Wood:

Did you make an effort to contact the attorney for James Grady? In other news organizations elsewhere around the country, it's considered essential - in addition to getting information from the DA's office - to make every possible effort to contact the defense team for a quote. This story is not balanced, and as we know that there have been numerous complaints from criminal defendants to the California Bar about Mr. Wagstaffe making false statements to the press before their trials ( which resulted in the San Mateo DA being sent a warning by the Bar after he misstated the facts of a case to the San Mateo Daily News - a copy of which the Almanac has had for more than a year-) it's time for the San Mateo press to contact the attorneys for the accused as well.


5 people like this
Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jan 21, 2015 at 8:58 pm

pogo is a registered user.

"In other news organizations elsewhere around the country, it's considered essential"

Seriously? Where did you go to journalism school?

While it may be nice for the reading public, it is certainly not an "essential" role of the media. Besides, defense attorneys RARELY want to talk to the press and NEVER want their clients to be interviewed. When the trial starts, their only objective is to defend their client, not manage public opinion.

But if you have something to add, feel free.


5 people like this
Posted by Chris H
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jan 21, 2015 at 8:59 pm

Really, someone is asking for the offenders legal council to be contacted before publishing this story? A serial burglar and felon is chased through our neighborhood, drops his ID and sneaks into another house where he leaves forensic evidence, and someone thinks we need to hear from an attorney to get their side of the story. Come on, use your common sense and support the police and DA when they clearly have a slam dunk case against this menace.


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