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Murder of Desiree Sunford by Marty Grismer uncovered deadly love triangle: A Time To Kill investigates

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This week, A Time To Kill is in Yakima County, Washington, to investigate the murder of high school teacher Desiree Sunford, who was gunned down at her own home in 2013.

The police believe her killer was Marty Grismer, and once they began investigating the case, they discovered a complex love triangle that involved infidelity, pregnancy, and murder.

On April 7, 2013, Scott Sunford became concerned when he was unable to contact his 30-year-old wife Desiree, so he called the cops. When the police entered their home, they discovered that the art teacher had tragically been shot dead.

The case remained a puzzle until July 2014, when a woman came forward to say that she had been having an affair with Scott Sunford and had been pregnant at the time of the murder. She claimed that Grismer was infatuated with her and had confessed to killing Desiree so that she would be happy.

The police were initially puzzled by this strange scenario; why on earth would Grismer want to kill Desiree because he was besotted with her husband’s mistress? They then concluded that Grismer was attempting to frame Scott for the murder of his wife.

Evidence against Marty Grismer mounted up

The police received more help when they were called by a man who said he’d found gun parts in an office used by a former employee. The employee was Grismer, and the gun parts matched evidence found at the crime scene.

In the meantime, Grismer had been arrested and charged with first-degree murder. While in jail, he confessed to his cellmate that he had killed Desiree to frame Scott.

Unfortunately, the prosecutors decided that the cellmate was an unreliable witness and that they didn’t quite have enough evidence against Grismer to be sure a jury would convict him for first-degree murder. So they offered him a deal.

In October 2018, Grismer agreed to take an Alford plea deal with the Yakima County prosecutors. The plea allowed him to maintain his innocence but also acknowledged that the state had enough evidence to possibly convict him.

Grismer was subsequently sentenced to 15 years in prison and was ordered to pay more than $14,000 in restitution.

More from A Time To Kill

Follow the links to read about more murders profiled on A Time To Kill.

Business tycoon Gary Triano and his socialite wife Pam Phillips were going through a contentious divorce, which ended in murder. Phillips plotted with hoodlum Ronald Young to place a bomb in Triano’s car in the hope of claiming a large life insurance payout.

An argument over a condo in South Florida turned to murder when Walter Dendy arranged to have sulphuric acid thrown into the face of Leonard ‘Rudi’ Houda. Leonard died from his injuries, and Dendy went to prison for the rest of his life.

A Time To Kill airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

Jerry Brown


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