Philadelphia teen gets 35 years to life for Grandzol murder

Kristen Johanson
February 08, 2019 - 1:17 pm
Marvin Roberts

Philadelphia Police Department

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Marvin Roberts, 18, has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and has been sentenced to 35 years to life as part of a plea deal for the murder of Philadelphia man Gerry Grandzol. 

He also pleaded guilty to robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, and gun offenses, the sentences for which will run concurrently.

Roberts and his brother, Maurice, have both now pled guilty in the shooting and killing of Grandzol during a robbery in September 2017. In what investigators called crystal-clear audio and video, the brothers can be seen putting a gun to 38-year-old Grandzol's head, demanding he hand over his wallet, to which he complied.

But when the robbers demanded his vehicle, Grandzol begged the gunmen to get his 2-year-old daughter out of the car. That’s when authorities say Marvin Roberts shot him. 

RELATED: Maurice Roberts pleads guilty to 3rd-degree murder for 2017 killing

Grandzol was found shot twice in the head outside his home on Melon Street in Fairmount, his toddler screaming and still strapped in her car seat. 

Marvin Roberts was 16 at the time of the killing.

Maurice Roberts pleaded guilty to third-degree murder two weeks ago and will spend 25 to 50 years in prison. 

Judge Glenn Bronson agreed to Marvin Roberts' deal, but said he had "trepidations" and wanted to make sure the family understood. During their victim impact statements, the family repeatedly asked Bronson to give the maximum sentence possible. 

Bronson sentenced Marvin Roberts to 35 years to life in prison for six different crimes. 

Through the hearing, which lasted about three hours, more than a dozen family members and friends told Bronson about how Grandzol’s death impacted their lives, many saying the slaying has caused fear, rage, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

At the end of their statements, Bronson told Grandzol’s widow he was sorry for their loss. She replied: "With all due respect, your honor, Gerry wasn't lost, he was taken."