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Tag: Philip Grandine

Update: Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Philip Grandine Finally Headed to Prison for Drowning His Wife in Bathtub

anna and philp grandine

In 2019, Philip Grandine, pastor of Ennerdale Baptist Church in Toronto, Canada, was convicted of killing his pregnant wife. Grandine’s first conviction in 2012 was overturned on a technicality. The CBC reported:

A former Toronto pastor accused of secretly sedating his pregnant wife before she drowned in the bathtub was found guilty of manslaughter Thursday, his second conviction in a case that has spanned more than seven years.

Jurors convicted Philip Grandine Thursday after deliberating for just over a day.

The man, who has been out on bail for more than six years while the case wound its way through the justice system, looked straight ahead as the verdict was read.

Prosecutors alleged Grandine drugged his wife with the anti-anxiety medication lorazepam, better known as Ativan, so she wouldn’t be as vigilant while he continued an affair with her friend.

The Crown alleged he then did not prevent Anna Karissa Grandine from getting in a bath in her incapacitated state one night in October 2011.

Anna Grandine was 20 weeks pregnant when she died. Tests later revealed she had lorazepam in her blood despite never being prescribed the drug.

Defence lawyers had argued Anna Grandine took the medication herself and either slipped in the tub, hitting her head and drowning, or took her own life.


The Crown alleged Grandine was behind the searches, noting some occurred roughly at the same time as searches for escorts and other sex-related topics. Prosecutors also said lorazepam was not a drug that should be used by pregnant women and Anna Grandine was conscientious about the health of her baby.

The defence argued it was Anna Grandine who looked up lorazepam, suggesting she sought to self-medicate in light of the recent upheaval in her life.

Court heard Philip Grandine stepped down as pastor after it came to light that he was having an affair with a parishioner, who was also his wife’s friend. The congregation, to which Anna Grandine belonged, was also told of the affair, court heard.

Another pastor agreed to give them marriage counselling if Philip Grandine stopped cheating and gave up pornography, conditions the couple accepted, court heard.

But Grandine quickly resumed the affair and over time, his wife became suspicious, even challenging him on the issue in an early October counselling session, court heard.

Then, in mid-October, Anna Grandine suddenly experienced dizziness, fatigue and other symptoms, prompting her husband to take her to hospital, court heard. Her sister said Anna Grandine was afraid; her mother testified the 29-year-old asked her husband if he had given her a pill, which he denied.

Three days later, Anna Grandine drowned in the bathtub. Court heard toxicology tests detected Ativan in her system and then checked the samples taken during her hospital visit, where they also found the drug.

Twelve years later, the murderous Grandine is now headed for prison.

The Toronto Star reports:

The Ontario Court of Appeal has upheld the manslaughter conviction and sentence given to an ex-Toronto pastor found guilty of his pregnant wife’s “diabolical and violent” bathtub drowning.

The decision means Philip Grandine, 35, is finally headed to prison to serve out the 15-year sentence a judge imposed after a Toronto jury found him guilty on Feb. 28, 2019.

Karissa Grandine, 29, drowned in a bathtub in the couple’s Scarborough home on Oct. 17, 2011. She was 20 weeks pregnant with their first child. The anti-anxiety drug lorazepam was found in her system. Her husband, a registered practical nurse originally from Paris, Ont., was charged with first-degree murder.

In 2012, during a trial in Toronto, the Crown alleged that he had drugged his wife with lorazepam and had intentionally caused her death by drowning.

The jury found Grandine guilty not of murder but guilty of manslaughter. On appeal, the verdict was overturned and a new trial ordered. The appeal court found the trial judge had erred by introducing a new theory that Grandine could be guilty of manslaughter by allowing his wife to take a bath after he knew she had ingested lorazepam.

Grandine was retried at the same downtown Toronto courthouse in 2019 on a charge of manslaughter and was convicted again by another jury. The Crown’s theory was that he administered the drug in order to pursue an extra-marital affair and to indulge his pornography obsession, or that he was criminally negligent in permitting his wife to enter the bath when he knew she was heavily sedated.

The defence argued Karissa voluntarily ingested the lorazepam and either drowned by suicide or died accidentally.

In January 2020, the judge sentenced Philip Grandine to 15 years in prison. She concluded Grandine was hostile toward his wife and administered the drug intending to incapacitate her and that his actions were planned, premeditated, diabolical and violent.

He immediately applied for bail and was released pending appeal. This time, his lawyers argued three grounds against conviction. Those arguments included that there was no evidence that Grandine knew his wife had consumed lorazepam or that she was at risk if she took a bath.

They also argued the sentence has harsh and excessive.

On Monday, Ontario’s highest court released its decision finding there was no error in the sentence, nor was it unfit. The appellate panel also found there was sufficient evidence for the jury to conclude Grandine knew she had taken lorazepam and was criminally negligent by omission by leaving her alone in the bath.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Bruce Gerencser