Protests greet mother killer's arrival

September 15, 1995

Gina Grant, the 19-year-old straight-A scholar who bludgeoned her mother to death as a young teenager, has enrolled at Tufts University in Massachusetts along with 1,200 other freshmen.

But while she dodged reporters' questions any hope she held of starting a new life as an anonymous student evaporated when a conservative student newspaper stuck provocative fly posters around campus.

They accused the university authorities of admitting "killers" to the class of 1999. While some students dismissed the attack as mean-spirited, others were disturbed by the thought of a convicted killer as a potential room-mate.

Gina Grant was convicted of voluntary manslaughter by a South Carolina court in 1990 and served six months. She was accused of beating her mother, whom she described as an abusive alcoholic, to death with a glass candlestick. Backed by family members, she won the sympathy of a judge.

Honour student Ms Grant plunged Harvard University into controversy earlier this year after the university offered her a place and then withdrew it when authorities were tipped off to her criminal history.

She had told interviewers only that she was an orphan who had lost her father to cancer and her mother under circumstances "too painful" to describe.

While Harvard University was shaken by a brutal and very public murder-suicide on campus this year, Tufts stepped in and has promised Grant every help to earn a degree.

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