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Arkadelphia Siftings Herald - Arkadelphia, AR
  • Murder trial continued

  • Griffin’s attorney gets another date, expert witness.
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  • Citing a need for expert witnesses, homicide suspect John Chad Griffin’s attorney recently filed for and received an extension for a jury trial that was set to begin next week. Prosecutors, meanwhile, say they’re ready for trial and have obligations to fulfill for its own witnesses. Representing Griffin — who allegedly shot and killed 36-year-old David Stewart one year ago today at 232 N. 13th St. — Janice Williams filed for continuance on Jan. 10. “There is probable need for expert witnesses required by the defense of this case,” Williams wrote. Griffin, 43, has been in custody since the night of the murder. He is charged with first-degree murder, a Class Y felony that could land him a lifetime behind bars. Clark County Prosecutor Blake Batson says he “strenuously” objects to Williams’ motion. His response reads that his office “has made travel and lodging arrangements for witnesses and family of the victim, who live outside the jurisdiction” and that “the state is ready for trial.” The trial was scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 21, in the Clark County Circuit Courtroom. Though an order for the new date has yet to be entered, court officials are anticipating the trial to be held on the week of Feb. 24. Additionally, Batson has since responded to Williams’ motion to suppress statements Griffin allegedly made to police on the night of the murder. Williams claims Griffin’s Constitutional rights were violated on the grounds that Griffin, who was intoxicated at the time of his arrest, made statements to police without a lawyer there to represent him. Williams claims that police “obtained” those statements for investigative purposes. Batson, on the other hand, argues there is no basis to suppress any of Griffin’s statements to police. In Batson’s response, he denies Williams’ implication that those statements “were ‘obtained’ or otherwise the result of interrogation.” Circuit Judge Robert McCallum has yet to rule on either motion.

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