Brad Dicken and Chelsea Miller, The Chronicle-Telegram
EATON TWP. — A 29-year-old woman was killed Tuesday and a man she knew has been charged with aggravated murder and felonious assault in connection with her death.
Melanie Hruby was found dead inside 10140 Avon Belden Road, the home of 25-year-old Adam Grimes, the man accused of killing her, according to a news release from the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office.
Grimes was arrested outside the house.
A woman called the sheriff’s office around 11:15 p.m. Tuesday and reported that Grimes had called and told her that he “hurt or killed his girlfriend” and was driving her van.
The woman, who repeatedly asked to remain anonymous, told a dispatcher that Grimes planned to return to his house and see if Hruby was all right. If not, she said, Grimes planned to call police.
The news release said that Hruby had “suffered from obvious signs (of) blunt trauma,” but a man who identified himself as the original caller’s brother, told a dispatcher that he had heard Hruby had been strangled by Grimes “because he was mad at her.”
The woman who first called told the dispatcher that Grimes “didn’t tell me how he did it,” according to a recording of the 911 call.
Sheriff’s Capt. Jim Drozdowski said the investigation is ongoing, and county Coroner Stephen Evans said an autopsy is scheduled to be performed today.
Hruby’s sister, Marcia Hruby, said her sister wasn’t in a relationship with Grimes. She said her sister first met Grimes about four years ago when she moved from Florida to Lorain County to be closer to her family after she became a single mother to her son, Brandon, who is now 4 years old and staying with family.
“At one point I know they were friends, and then he became obsessed and weird,” Marcia Hruby said.
She said Grimes would send her and others, including Melanie Hruby’s boyfriend, threatening messages.
Melanie Hruby’s cousin, Greg Beck, said Grimes wasn’t dating her.
“She was telling me he wouldn’t leave her alone,” Beck said. “He would tell everyone he was her boyfriend.”
But Marcia Hruby said, her sister “tried to be nice about it.” She said her sister’s kindness may have been what ended up getting her killed.
She said she believes that her sister probably tried to leave Grimes’ home and he wouldn’t let her.
Beck said he was always worried that Hruby, who was like a sister to him, would become mixed up in “something like this” after she began using drugs.
He said Hruby was beginning to clean herself up and was going through rehab, but Grimes kept harassing her.
“She was a great person. She loved living,” Beck said.
Marcia Hruby said Melanie Hruby was her best friend and her entire family was shocked by the slaying.
“She was just a beautiful person who loved to have fun,” she said.
Melanie Hruby had enrolled in college and was planning to begin studying to become a nurse next month, her family said.
Grimes, who made a brief appearance Wednesday in Elyria Municipal Court, is no stranger to the criminal justice system.
The man who called dispatchers on Tuesday told them Grimes had been complaining about how Hruby treated him and her relationship with another man the day before. He also said that Grimes used drugs, which was a problem.
“Adam’s the type of dude who can’t handle drugs,” he said.
Grimes was placed on probation Monday after pleading guilty to possession of heroin and possession of drug abuse instruments earlier this year. He had originally been charged with domestic violence in the same case, but wasn’t indicted on the charge when it was presented to a county grand jury.
A no contact order had been in place preventing him from having any dealings with his parents, who were considered the victims of the domestic violence, court records showed.
Richard Ramsey, Grimes’ attorney in the heroin case, said there was nothing unusual about the drug case.
“At the time of the plea he was undergoing therapy and prosecutors agreed to (probation),” he said.
Ramsey had asked county Common Pleas Judge Edward Zaleski, who handled the drug case, to lift the no contact order involving his clients’ parents, noting that Grimes was receiving drug treatment at a Baton Rouge, La., facility.
Zaleski said he declined to lift the no contact order because Grimes’ parents didn’t appear in court to personally ask him to do so.
Grimes’ criminal history dates back to 2003 and his prior convictions include vandalism, DUI, attempted felonious assault, assault, theft and failure to comply.
The most serious incident took place in June 2007 when deputies were called to the Circle K in Eaton Township to remove Grimes from the store.
Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Damiano reported at the time that Grimes was gone by the time he arrived, but he located him walking at a nearby intersection.
Grimes initially complied with Damiano’s instructions, but later lunged at the deputy, who fired his Taser at Grimes, who tore the barbs out of his chest.
Grimes then tried to climb into Damiano’s patrol car and, during the ensuing struggle, broke the deputy’s glasses and tried to unholster his gun.
Deputy Robert Perkins arrived during the scuffle and, after being kicked by Grimes, Tasered him.
Grimes was ultimately sentenced to six months in prison in that case.
The man who called dispatchers Tuesday said that Grimes, who was jailed without bond Wednesday, has been in and out of prison throughout his life.
“He can’t handle society,” he said.