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Tuesday, May 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Third Time You’re Out, Man Tells Newspaper

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (CN) - The Belleville News Democrat had the wrong guy for the third time, claims a man who says the newspaper identified him, incorrectly, as a man who stabbed his wife to death and was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Keith Grinston claims the newspaper published his photo with a story about John Grinston. He say the newspaper defendants "committed similar defamation" twice before, and he told it so, but it "failed to correct their actions and defamed plaintiff a third time."

Keith Grinston sued the News Democrat and its corporate parent, The McClatchy Co., for willful and wanton defamation, in St. Clair County Court.

Grinston says the paper published his photo along with a July 12 article headlined, "Killer Being Held on New Allegations."

The article "states that John Grinston was found not guilty by reason of insanity for stabbing his wife and leaving her bleed to death and last week had to return to the mental hospital amid allegation's that he beat his child's mother three times," the complaint states.

But the newspaper published the photo of Keith Grinston, not John Grinston, despite the previous mistakes, which he had tried to correct, Keith Grinston says.

He says "the defendants were willful and wanton and acting in reckless disregard for the rights of the plaintiff, in that on two previous occasions, the defendants had committed similar defamation and that the plaintiff and had told defendants of their mistake. However, defendants failed to correct their actions and defamed the plaintiff for a third time."

Grinston seeks punitive damages. He is represented by Thomas Falb with Williamson, Webster & Falb of Alton, Ill.

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