During jury deliberations of the criminal trial The State of Indiana vs. Jefferson Griffin held in Rush County Circuit Court on March 7, Shelbyville resident Griffin walked away from the Rush County Courthouse and did not return.
Prior to the trial, Griffin had posted a cash bond on multiple felony charges stemming from allegations surfacing in 2016:
- Sexual misconduct with a minor but committed by person at least 21 years old (Level 5 Felony).
- Battery on a person less than 16 years of age (Level 6 Felony).
- Battery resulting in moderate bodily injury (Level 6 Felony).
- Child molestation (Level 4 Felony).
As a result of posting bond, the Shelbyville man was not in custody during the trial, at which time evidence was presented from both minor victims. Following closing statements, the case was turned over to the jury for deliberation. It was at that juncture Griffin left the courthouse and did not return.
The trial concluded without Griffin in attendance. He was found guilty in absentee on charges of child molestation (Level 4 Felony), two (Level 5 Felony) counts of sexual misconduct with a minor and battery on a person less than 16-years of age (Level 6 Felony).
Following the jury’s decision, the court was made aware of Griffin’s previous felony convictions that included sexual misconduct with a minor and voluntary manslaughter. As a result of that information, the court added a habitual offender enhancement to the charges that can add up to an additional 20 years behind bars at the time of his sentencing.
Griffin’s bond was revoked and an arrest warrant was issued for his arrest.
He remained at large Monday when a sentencing hearing was held in Rush County Circuit Court at which time Griffin was sentenced the Indiana Department of Corrections for a period of 46-years:
Count I: Five years executed
Count 2: Two hundred and 12 days executed, defendant receives 106 days of presentence confinement and 106 days of good time credit for a total of 212 days credit.
Count 4: Five years executed.
Count 5: 10 years executed.
Count 6: Six years executed- attached to Count 5.
Count 7: 20 years executed – attached to Count 5.
The court also found the defendant to be a sexually violent predator and required him to register as such for life.
Since the departure from his trial more than three months ago, a lengthy search involving the U.S. Marshall’s Office and the Rush County Sheriff’s Department was undertaken. Griffin was apprehended during the early morning hours of Tuesday in Nicholas County, West Virginia. He currently is being held at an undisclosed West Virginia facility awaiting extradition to Indiana.
When made aware Tuesday of the fugitive's apprehension, Rush County Sheriff’s Department Detective Randy Meek said it was accomplished through multiple agencies working toward a common cause.
“This case was resolved due to multiple law enforcement agencies working together to get Jefferson Griffin in custody. Griffin now will have to face the consequences of his actions in prison for a long period of time,” Detective Meek said.
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