BEAUFORT, SC (Feb. 17, 2023) – A St. Helena Island man who lured a couple to his home to confront the husband about romantic infidelities is headed to prison after a Beaufort County jury found the former semi-professional fighter guilty of two counts of kidnapping.
Justin Brodie Granet, 45, of Chaplin Drive was found guilty Friday following three days of testimony at the Beaufort County Courthouse. The jury also found Granet guilty of first-degree assault and battery and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. He was sentenced to 20 years, suspended to 14 years, followed by two years of probation. He also received 10 years on the assault charge and five years for the weapon. The charges are to run concurrently.
Hannah Kidd of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office prosecuted the case.
On March 11, 20219, the Tennessee couple stopped at Granet’s St. Helena Island home on their way to Fripp Island. When the couple attempted to leave, Granet came up behind the man, put him in a chokehold, and took him to the ground. He attempted to bind the man with zip ties and duct tape, while he assaulted him. The woman was able to dial 911 before stuffing her phone in between couch cushions. She was subsequently bound with duct tape and rope. The couple were then forced into a hallway upon the arrival of law enforcement and told to remain silent.
Beaufort County Sheriff’s deputies arrived and saw a cracked glass door with drops of blood on the kitchen floor surrounded by broken zip ties. After no response, deputies forced their way inside and found Granet’s hands covered in blood. The man was found lying on the floor, bloodied and unresponsive. The woman was found with her hands bound by rope, and duct tape around her head.
The man was taken to Beaufort Memorial Hospital, where he was diagnosed with skull and facial fractures and a subdural hematoma. He was then immediately transported to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston for treatment. The man and woman were two of 11 witnesses Kidd called to the stand.
Circuit Court Judge Robert Bonds handed down Granet’s sentence.
Granet’s criminal history includes convictions for simple assault and battery (1996); criminal domestic violence (1997); simple assault and battery (1998); and assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature (2008).
Charges against Granet’s co-defendant, 45-year-old Donald Christopher Bliss, are still pending. Bliss is charged with two counts of kidnapping, first-degree assault and battery, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Those charges are merely accusations, and all defendants are considered innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
Assistant Solicitor Samantha Molina assisted with the prosecution.