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Thread: Chris Griffin (18) was shot and killed by Jason Walters (45) after an altercation at a convenience store, even though he wasn't the one involved in the altercation

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    So very tired raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Chris Griffin (18) was shot and killed by Jason Walters (45) after an altercation at a convenience store, even though he wasn't the one involved in the altercation,131172

    Nearly 4? years since the tragic night of June 15, 2014, the man accused of killing Christopher James Griffin outside a convenience store in Mineola has yet to stand trial for murder.

    Meanwhile, the judge who had been presiding over the case, 402nd District Judge Jeff Fletcher, confirmed to the Wood County Monitor last week that he has recused himself.

    The leadership of the Mineola Ministerial Alliance recently weighed in on the state of affairs, scheduling a community prayer meeting to address the situation and registering their concerns about Wood County?s criminal justice system.

    Jason Walters, 45, is charged with murder in the death of Griffin, who was 18 when he was shot behind the EZ Mart on Pacific Avenue. Authorities allege that Walters and another man got into an argument inside the store and decided to settle their differences outside. Walters retrieved a gun from his truck before heading to the back of the store, according to police. He later fired the gun, striking Griffin, who was not a party to the original altercation, in the neck. Walters was indicted on a charge of murder in September 2014.

    The trial, originally set for August 2015, has faced repeated delays, the most recent in late October.

    After a postponement this spring, Fletcher explained in late May that ?something came to light in late April, early May? that he could not reveal but that required Wood County District Attorney Jim Wheeler to step down from the case. It was transferred to the Texas Attorney General?s Office and to prosecuting attorney Thomas Cloudt. Fletcher said at the time that the trial would be held Oct. 29 if not sooner.

    When asked recently for an update on the case, Cloudt said he could not discuss it.

    Fletcher said he could not comment on his reasons for recusal. On Oct. 11, Judge Joe D. Clayton of Tyler was appointed to oversee the case by 124th District Judge Alfonso Charles of Longview.

    ?It?s very unfortunate and disappointing that the Walters and Griffin trial has been delayed again,? said Demetrious Boyd, pastor of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church and vice president of the Mineola Ministerial Alliance. ?It?ll be five years next year and this is totally unacceptable. These families and this community deserve closure.?

    Testimony continues in the murder trial of a Mineola man who shot and killed a teen outside a convenience store.

    The witnesses who have testified so far Thursday morning include Howard Austin and the doctor who performed the autopsy on Chris Griffin.

    The 18 year old was shot in an alley behind the Mineola EZ Mart back in June 2014 after an argument inside the store spilled outside. Mineola police have said Griffin was not involved in that altercation.

    Austin said he witnessed the shooting and that there were "no aggressive moves by anybody. I don?t understand why he shot Chris, man. It?s a mystery to me.?

    Dr. Elizabeth Ventura, with Southwest Forensics in Dallas, testified that residue found on Griffin?s body indicated the barrel of the gun made contact with the skin when the gun was fired.

    She said considering his injuries, Griffin likely died within one to two minutes. The court waited in silence as the prosecution took a minute to indicate about how long Griffin was alive after the shot.

    The official cause of death was ruled a homicide. The defense pointed out that, ?homicide doesn?t always equate to murder.?

    Ventura agreed, and said her office does not use the word murder since it?s not their job to determine that.

    Jurors will hear more testimony Thursday in the murder trial of the Mineola man who shot and killed a teen outside a convenience store.

    Jason Walters is charged with first-degree murder in the 2014 shooting death of Chris Griffin, 18, at the Mineola EZ Mart.

    Surveillance video from inside and outside the store is expected to be admitted as evidence.

    During Thursday?s testimony, jurors watched store surveillance video from the night of the shooting. The actual shooting happened just off-camera.

    The video does show and allow us to hear what happened both inside and outside of the store before and after Griffin was shot.

    It was just after 11 on a Sunday night. Things at the store were busy with customers coming in and out ? one of them being Jason Walters standing in line holding ice cream.

    Joseph Williams, Janie Adams, and Chris Griffin are also seen inside the store.

    The video shows Dietrich Flournoy, who testified on Wednesday, walking inside the store with sunglasses on.

    He walks up to Walters and mentions he doesn't like the way Walters is "cutting his eyes at him." A few more words are said between the two, before Flournoy says he'll meet Walters outside.

    The video from the outside of the store shows Walters walk back to his car, drop the ice cream off and then walk back, allegedly grabbing a gun and concealing it.

    Another camera angle shows Flournoy walking just out of view followed by Walters. Flournoy?s girlfriend, Destiny Gonzalez, Williams, and Griffin can also be seen walking out of the camera?s view.

    In a matter of seconds, Gonzalez can be seen running to the store?s front door. She opens it and can be heard screaming, ?call the police. Somebody just shot somebody!?

    Not long after that with the gun still in hand, Walters opens the front door and tells the clerk, "you need to call the police."

    At one point, Gonzalez can be seen at Walters car taking his keys. She testified yesterday that she feared he would leave the scene.

    As police arrive, Walter?s defense pointed out that while Flournoy was in handcuffs, other people can be seen taking things from his pockets. Attorney Cynthia Stevens Kent also noted that Williams can be seen running to the car he was riding in multiple times.

    On the stand today, an investigator testified that Walter's weapon was the only one found at the scene.

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    The jury began deliberations at around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. As of 8 p.m., no verdict had been reached in the case.

    Walters fatally shot 18-year-old Chris Griffin on June 15, 2014, outside the EZ MART on North Pacific Street in Mineola.

    The jury have the option of finding Walters guilty or not guilty of murder, or guilty or not guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

    During closing arguments, the prosecution called Walters’ actions “unreasonable and unjustified” and said the shooting was the result of a clash of egos between Walters and Dietrich Flournoy.

    Through testimony last week, Flournoy was identified as the person Walters had a verbal altercation with inside the store just moments before the shooting. The prosecution pointed out that Walters and Griffin never exchanged words, calling Griffin “an innocent third party” and adding that "a license to carry concealed is not a license to kill.”

    At one point, a prosecutor picked up Walter’s weapon from the evidence table while asking jurors, “What will this verdict say about the value of Chris Griffin’s life?”

    The prosecution wrapped up its closing argument by setting a timer for 3 minutes to represent an estimated time that Griffin lived after being shot.

    The prosecution also encouraged jurors to watch the videos again because "still pictures don’t give context” in response to allegation of gang hand signals.

    That alleged gang affiliation is part of attorney Cynthia Stevens Kent’s self-defense argument.

    "There were guns out there, they (police) just didn’t look for them,” Kent said in her closing argument. She said Walters was the target of organized crime.

    “Don’t you know there was drinking and drugging going on. Even if they didn’t have guns, Walters had the right to defend himself against apparent danger,” Kent said.

    Walters went to the back of the store to talk the situation down because he feared he would be followed home, according to Kent.

    She also said Walters had "no duty to retreat.

    “He’s the victim of a crash-dummy mission. Justice in this case ... is justice for everyone. There is only one verdict in this case,” Kent said.

  3. #3
    Shut your face, grandma! Nic B's Avatar
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    So I am guessing dude was a horrible shot and missed the guy he had an issue with, and hit the 18 year old by mistake?

    But yes, everyone should carry guns cuz it saves lives.

    Quote Originally Posted by marakisses View Post
    yes i said i will leave it under you storage he said cuddle with me i said shut up it over??? what am i doing wrong??

  4. #4
    So very tired raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Not guilty. Sigh. This is TX though, so I didn't have a lot of hope.

    A Wood County jury has found Jason Walters not guilty in the fatal shooting of Chris Griffin, 18.

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