A Chicago Ridge man accused of murder won't be leaving jail anytime soon.
A Cook County judge on Thursday refused to set a bond for Mohammad Salahat, charged in the 2011 robbery and beating death of a Palos Township couple. Salahat, 18, along with three others, are being held in the murder of John and Martha Granat on Sept. 11, 2011. Christopher Wyma, 18; Ehab Qasem, 20; and the couple's son, John Granat, 18, are his co-defendants.
All four men have been in custody without bond since the incident.
Salahat has been described by prosecutors as the driver who remained in a car outside the home while the other three killed the Granats in their bedroom. Prosecutors allege that Salahat, 16 years old at the time, was aware of what was going on inside the home while his defense claims the teen didn't know.
Salahat's attorney, Joel Brodsky, had filed a motion to reduce bail for his client, arguing that he is not a flight risk and that he didn't take part in the actual murder. During a hearing in earlier in December, a psychologist testified for the defense that Salahat is not violent and wouldn't be a danger to himself or to the community if he were released to his family to await trial.
Judge Neil Linehan said on Thursday he didn't see any reason to set bail for Salahat. The judge noted the "heinous nature" of the crime, where John Granat was bludgeoned to death with baseball bats and his wife, Maria, was fatally stabbed.
"It's quite amazing that someone would suffer such a horrific death at the hands of their own son and his friends," Linehan said.
After a review of transcripts of Salahat's interrogation, Linehan also questioned claims that Salahat wasn't aware that a murder could possibly take place, as opposed to solely a robbery. Salahat was given $4,000 after the murder, Linehan said, which he reportedly spent on video games and expensive restaurants. Salahat also allegedly helped destroy evidence.
"By his own statement, [Salahat] said there was a 78 percent chance of a burglary and 20 percent chance of murder," Linehan said.
Linehan also acknowledged the expertise of Dr. Alan Jaffe, who testified Salahat isn't violent or a flight risk, but sided with the prosecution by noting that Jaffe admitted that he hadn't read any of the police reports or been at all briefed on Salahat's actual role in the murder.
Salahat stood silently during the hearing as at least two dozen of his family members sat in the galley awaiting the judge's decision. Clearly disappointed at the denial of the motion, Salahat did not look toward his family as he was led back into lock-up.
Meanwhile, one of John Granat's aunts was visibly relieved after the proceedings. She cried and clutched one of the prosecutors in a long embrace outside the courtroom.
Salahat is scheduled to be back in Linehan's court on Jan. 22.
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