A man on trial for the murder of his ex-girlfriend has tried to explain away his bizarre behavior after he admittedly found her dead.
According to the Telegraph, Michael Lane is accused of letting himself into 19-year-old Shana Grice’s apartment in Brighton, England, on August 25 and slitting her throat while she slept before setting her bedroom on fire.
Lane, 27, and Grice had once been romantically involved, but Grice had reportedly ended the relationship months before, and reconciled with a former boyfriend, Ashley Cooke. Lane is believed to have been enraged over the breakup, and allegedly told a friend that Grice would “pay for what she has done,” according to the Guardian.
At his murder trial this week, Lane explained to jurors why he did not report Grice’s death after first discovering her body. He has admitted to going to her apartment uninvited on August 25 because he wanted to talk about their relationship, and claims that he didn’t react appropriately to finding her dead in her bed because he was in shock and denial.
“I didn’t want what I saw to be true,” Lane reportedly told jurors, admitting that he did not check the body to see if she was dead, and did not call 999 (the UK’s equivalent to 911). He also expressed concern that he might be held responsible for what happened to Grice.
Following the discovery, Lane reportedly returned home where he lived with his family and did not say a word about what happened. He then went to a store to check the numbers on a lottery ticket.
Grice had contacted police about Lane’s alleged abuse, stalking and threats multiple times, beginning in March of last year, after Lane allegedly pulled her hair and tried to take her mobile phone. In that case, police reportedly fined the young woman for failing to disclose she had been in a relationship with Lane, and took no action against the man now suspected of murdering her.
According to the Guardian, the police citation accused Grice of “having caused wasteful employment of police by making a false report.”
Grice contacted police about Lane’s threatening behavior repeatedly in subsequent months, including twice in July, a month before she was killed.
According to the Guardian, police warned Lane on July 9 to stay away from Grice after he stole a key to her apartment and showed up in the middle of the night to watch her sleep. Three days later, Grice contacted police again to say that Lane was following her. Police reportedly characterized the incident as “low-risk.”
Lane has denied killing Grice.