Griffith ‘motion to dismiss’ hearing
Jury selection begins Monday and Keith Griffith could still face the death penalty. He’s accused of shooting his wife to death at their Reidland home then setting the house on fire.
Griffith’s defense team filed a motion Wednesday to dismiss the death penalty, but the judge decided that’s up to the jury to decide. On Thursday, the judge heard arguments about why or why not the jury should be presented some pieces of evidence.
Most of this evidence will stand including the point about McCracken County Sheriff’s deputies adding $10 of gas to Griffith’s Ford Explorer before driving the car to this impound lot.
The defense said in the motion the death penalty should be dismissed, citing tampering with evidence. The prosecution countered saying the gas added by sheriff’s deputies was moot, simply subtract the exact amount of gas, 3.98 gallons, from the amount in the car now.
The defense said this new information was too important to ignore, “As a punishment to the Sheriff’s Office for not getting the info to us, if you decide not to dismiss the indictment, I ask you to simply try this as a murder case, 20 years to life,” said attorney Mark Bryant during the hearing. The Commonwealth Attorney countered in closing saying, “It’s simple fact that any skilled attorney would be able to present in court and that’s that 3 gallons was added to the vehicle the day after the event.”
The second topic, gunshot residue. The prosecution and defense both brought in experts to testify about the residue. Kentucky State Police Forensic Investigation found the residue on both Griffith’s jacket and pants. This leaves two questions for the jury: was this because Griffith fired the gun or was he around a gun that was fired?
Bryant said to the judge, “There is so much speculation in this judge, I don’t think a jury should be allowed to hear that.” While the Commonwealth proved through the expert’s testimony Griffith was around a recently fired gun.
Jury selection is expected to take five days. Following jury selection, the trial is expected to take three weeks.