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Friday, February 15, 2008

Man convicted of Santa Cruz child molest killed in prison

2-14-2008 California:

FOLSOM -- A former Live Oak man serving a 400-year prison sentence at California State Prison-Sacramento was killed by another inmate Thursday morning, authorities reported.

Convicted child molester Shannon Lee Grailing, 53, died after Steven Matthew Schultz, a convicted murderer, slashed him across the neck with an apparent inmate-made weapon, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reported.

Grailing was serving the longest prison sentenced meted out in Santa Cruz County history. He sodomized a 10-year-old boy in a Santa Cruz motel in 1996 and, the following year, was convicted of five counts of child molestation.

"It's a tragic end to a tragic case," Santa Cruz police spokesman Zach Friend said Thursday.

The fatal attack happened just before 8 a.m. as Grailing pushed a laundry cart through the yard at the facility, which is adjacent to Folsom State Prison. He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9:10 a.m.

Schultz, 28, from Placer County, has been held in the prison since May 1999 and is serving a sentence of 26 years to life for first-degree murder.

Prison staff and the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office are investigating Grailing's death as a homicide, officials reported. The connection between the two men and the motive for the killing was not immediately clear, and the prison spokeswoman was not available to comment

Grailing had been in the prison since July 1997.

Santa Cruz police arrested him in August 1996 for failing to notify authorities that he had moved to Oregon.

During the arrest, police found evidence at a Santa Cruz motel that Grailing had molested a 10-year-old boy there and new charges were filed.

A jury in 1997 convicted Grailing of sodomizing the child, who is the son of one of Grailing's friends. He told her he was taking the boy to the Boardwalk, but instead brought him to the Hitching Post motel on Soquel Avenue, molested him and took digital photos of the sex acts.

The boy later testified against Grailing and spoke at his sentencing hearing.

"I don't care what you're going to do with the rest of your life in prison, or whatever, but I do know that there's one less monster out there, one less person that will hurt an innocent child," the victim said when Grailing was sentenced.

A "three strikes" offender previously convicted of molesting two Watsonville boys and three boys in Washington state, Grailing was sentenced to 375 years for sodomizing the 10-year-old boy. In November 1997, the judge added another 25 years to the sentence because Grailing had failed to register as a sex offender after moving to Portland.

Grailing appealed the molestation conviction on the grounds the California's registered sex offender law, which requires some convicted sex offenders to report their residences to police, only applies to those who live in the state. The 6th District Court of Appeal ruled against Grailing.

Grailing's death is the second homicide at California State Prison-Sacramento in three weeks, an official said.

The prison houses more than 3,100 maximum-security inmates serving long sentences and those who have proved to be management problems at other institutions. The facility opened in 1986 and employs nearly 1,600 people. ..more.. by Jennifer Squires at 429-2449 or


Sex offender slain at New Folsom Prison

An inmate at California State Prison, Sacramento, who was serving a 400-year sentence for molesting a child, was slashed in the throat and killed Thursday, prison officials said.

Shannon Lee Graling, 53, was slashed with an "inmate-made weapon" just before 8 a.m. while pushing a laundry cart, according to a prison news release. He died just over an hour later.

Prison officials said the suspect in the slashing is 28-year-old Steven Matthew Schultz, who is serving a 26-year-to-life sentence for first-degree murder out of Placer County.

Graling was convicted in Santa Cruz County in 1997 of five counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under the age of 14 and sentenced to 400 years, prion officials said. Also that year, Graling was sentenced to 25 years to life for failing to register as a sex offender. ..more.. by Ryan Lillis

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