Grunwald parents watch as teen murder suspects appear in court on new charges
Four of the five teenagers charged in connection to the death of 16-year-old David Grunwald in November were arraigned in Palmer court Tuesday on additional charges.
Three of the four teens — Erick Almandinger, Dominic Johnson and Bradley Renfro — entered not guilty pleas on new charges of arson, vehicle theft and assault.
Austin Barrett entered a not guilty plea on additional theft and assault charges. These new charges are in addition to multiple counts of murder and kidnapping, to which the teens pleaded not guilty on Dec. 13.
David’s parents, Ben and Edie Grunwald, sat in the packed courtroom, surrounded by friends and strangers there to support them, as the teens appeared in handcuffs.
Speaking to reporters after the hearing Tuesday, David’s parents said they need to be a voice for their son.
“We need to be here for David. We need to show that this is serious,” said Edie Grunwald. “We have to be involved and stay on top of this.”
The couple said they are finding strength and support through their community.
“The community has sort of taken David into their hearts and so it’s just important that we are here for them too,” she said.
Ben Grunwald said it was difficult to look at the faces of the young men accused of killing his son.
“You have to remember where David is now,” he said. “We’re his voice. He’s six feet under the ground at Fort Rich.”
When asked about seeing the teens in court, David’s father said they represent “the face of evil.”
A fifth teenager, Devin Peterson, was charged with one count of hindering the prosecution and tampering with evidence earlier this month.
He did not face any additional charges on Tuesday.
The trial for Grunwald’s accused killers is expected to begin in February.
Edie Gruwald pleaded with the public to share information about the case with the police.
“Who else is connected? What other stuff have they done,” she said. “I just implore people that know anything, come forward — on different crimes, anything — so that we can have a safe place for our families.”
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