Unlicensed boarding home supervisor accused of torturing, killing resident

Suspect still at large

HOUSTON – Houston police are searching for a former manager of an unlicensed boarding home who is accused of torturing and killing a 66-year-old man, according to court records.

That suspect, John Grant, 56, was the supervisor of an unlicensed boarding home in the 5800 block of Schrevers in southeast Houston.

According to prosecutors, Grant repeatedly tortured a resident, 66-year-old Clifton Barber, at the home. Barber eventually died from his injuries, according to prosecutors.

“He was tying him up to a chair multiple times and tying him so hard to the chair that an abscess developed in his wrist causing an infection that caused his death,” said Kristina Roberts, Harris County District Assistant Attorney.

Prosecutors said it’s not clear what the motive may have been.

Records show that Grant has a long criminal record, including convictions for aggravated sexual assault, theft, assault with injury and drug possession.

Why would anyone with a violent record like that be put in charge of residents that are often elderly, disabled or both?

“That’s one of the huge problems with these unregulated unlicensed board and group homes,” Roberts said. “I can have anybody in here running it if it’s not regulated or no rules I have to abide by ‚and who’s going to tell me I can’t.”

Last September, Grant was working at another unlicensed home in the 14000 block of Long Meadow Drive where Harris County Pct. 7 deputies discovered at least 35 men and women crammed into a squalid, roach-infested four-bedroom home.

READ: Disabled, elderly residents of unlicensed Harris County group home allege prostitution, kidnapping, drug deals

The owner, Carl Richardson, also owned the other house where Clifton Barber worked, but it’s not clear if Richardson was aware of the abuse.

“Mr Richardson is currently under investigation right now for several crimes so we’re working to figure that out,” Roberts said.

Police are asking anyone with information about Grant’s whereabouts to call Houston Crimestoppers at 713-222-8477.

Grant faces up to 99 years in prison if he’s convicted.