Keith Griffith trial: Opening statements

Opening statements in the Keith Griffith trial began Friday afternoon with Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Raymond McGee reading texts and cards he said were sent from Griffith to a girlfriend in Indiana.

“Keith sent her flowers and sent her a card, put into evidence, “Please forgive me – I just want to be with you. You’re the best thing to happen to me in a long time,'” McGee said as he was reading from the card.

McGee said those messages point to Griffith’s guilt.  He said Griffith wanted his wife of 36 years out of the picture, which is why McGee said Griffith took out a $150,000 life insurance policy just days before Julie Griffith’s death.

“Not everything burned up in the arson that he set.  Just about everything else did.  When he was caught the day after the crime, he had this life insurance policy on him,” McGee said holding up a blue folder.

Defense attorney Mark Bryant said the cards and texts don’t point to murder.  He admits Griffith lead a double life, but not one that lead to shooting his wife and setting their house on fire.  “This is not a case which the evidence lead to Keith Griffith,” Bryant told the court.

Bryant pointed the finger at detectives and said there was a DNA linking Griffith to the crime.  He also said there were no eyewitnesses who saw Griffith leave his home the night of the fire and the gun alleged to be used in the shooting hasn’t been found.

“It is the weakest type of circumstantial evidence and I intend to prove that during the rest of this trial,” Bryant said.

The state will call their first witnesses Monday morning.  McGee said that will include deputies, detectives and firefighters.

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