Blood splattered the walls, ceiling and floor in the bedroom where a suburban Chicago couple were found dead after their son called 911. The teen told police he'd been home asleep, heard nothing during the brutal beating and awoke to the gruesome scene.
But that story quickly unraveled, investigators said, when they determined that 17-year-old John Granat had been pulled over by police just hours before making the emergency call and none of his friends could vouch for his whereabouts.
Granat was ordered held without bond Tuesday on first-degree murder charges in the deaths of his parents, John Granat, 44, and Maria Granat, 42. The husband and wife were found fatally beaten in their Palos Park home early Sunday.
The high school senior gave "several alibis ... none of which made any sense, none of which turned out to be true," Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said after the court hearing. He said the teen, an only child, had a strained relationship with his parents and "had made threats to kill them" in the past.
Granat's lawyer denied those claims and, noting the teen's slight form, said his client couldn't have committed such a crime.
"There's no way that that young man could have done that to two human beings," defense attorney Rick Beuke said.
Granat seemed to show no emotion during Tuesday's hearing, remaining calm as the prosecutor recounted grisly details about his parents' death: police found his father on the bedroom floor severely beaten with a fractured jaw and lacerations on his skull and liver; Maria Granat, on the bed soaked in a pool of blood, suffered a fractured skull and stab wounds into her stomach, liver and lung.
The couple appeared to have been hit with such force that blood hit the surrounding walls, Dart said.
"It was almost as if you'd entered another world," the sheriff said, noting that the rest of the house _ decorated with Polish mementos and several photographs of Pope John Paul II _ was spotless.
The family came to the U.S. from Poland about a decade ago, and a photograph of the couple in traditional Polish dress was part of a makeshift memorial of flowers and candles outside their spacious brick house on Tuesday. Yellow police tape surrounded the home's manicured lawn, where a flagpole displayed the Polish flag beneath an American flag.
Granat told investigators that he got home around 8 p.m. Saturday and went to bed about midnight, choosing to sleep in the basement to seek relief from the heat, Assistant State's Attorney Peter Troy said during the hearing.
The teen said that when he woke up, he went to his parents' bedroom and called 911 just after 7 a.m. after running from the home. In a recording of that call, Granat can be heard telling the emergency dispatcher that his parents "were drowning in their own blood" and that the house had been ransacked.
But a police officer responding to the 911 call quickly recognized Granat as the driver he'd pulled over for a broken tail light about two hours earlier. During the traffic stop, the officer noticed a bottle in the front seat that Granat claimed was a bottle of swimming pool chlorine, Palos Heights Deputy Police Chief Bill Czarkoswski said.
When confronted about that information, Granat changed his story several times, Troy said.
The teen provided names of several friends, claiming he'd been with them the previous night. When he was told those friends denied being with him, Granat said he'd allowed some friends into the house to commit a crime, Dart said.
The sheriff also said the house strongly smelled of ammonia or bleach.
Investigators are still trying to determine where Granat was driving when he was pulled over, Dart said. Authorities have conducted several searches but haven't found a possible murder weapon. The medical examiner's office determined the couple was bludgeoned with a 1-inch diameter object.
There were no signs of forced entry to the home and the father's wallet _ containing $1,800 _ was on the kitchen counter, Dart said, adding that the teen had $4,000 in cash when police arrived.
Dart also said the teen did landscaping and other chores for his father, who ran a contracting business and managed several properties.
"He (the father) was looking forward to try to involve his son in the family business," Dart said.
Beuke, the teen's defense attorney, promised he wouldn't agree to a plea deal. There were at least a dozen relatives at Tuesday's court hearing, and Beuke said they wouldn't have come had they thought Granat was guilty.
Bueke said the teen had been crying for two days, disputing Dart's claim that Granat was "devoid of emotion" throughout the interview process.