The murder of a father and his two children sent shockwaves through their Effingham County neighborhood. Now, two years later, the man police say pulled the trigger is on trial for his life. The trial of DeAnthony Griffin began this morning in the Effingham County Courthouse in Springfield.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in this case. It's the first one in recent memory in Effingham County. Everyone is taking this case very seriously. The judge issued a gag order and sequestered the jury.
As the fog lifted over the courthouse this morning, it became much clearer inside the courtroom as to what happened on October 25, 2002.
Police say that's the day DeAnthony Griffin gunned down 48-year old David Cribbs, Sr., his 28-year-old son David Cribbs, Jr., and his 18-year-old daughter Ashley Cribbs. They were each shot once in the head at their home on Ebenezer Road.
Family members from both sides of the case came to the courthouse today. "We've got to have truth and closure for all of us to move forward," said relative Candi Kirkpatrick.
The district attorney laid out a timeline for the jury and told them they would see evidence linking Griffin to the three murders. Griffen's attorney said the evidence does not link him to the crime scene, and she told them he simply didn't do it.
One thing both sides agree on is that Griffen knew the Cribbs family. The Cribbs family believe the son owed Griffen money--maybe drug money--and that Griffen came to their home to get the money. But instead robbed and killed the family.
We asked Candi Kilpatrick what she would like to see come of this. "The truth, the truth," she said. "It's important because David lived by the sword and died by it. Finally in the end, maybe some truth will come of that."
The family wants that along with justice.
This afternoon the district attorney began calling witnesses. The trial is expected to be lengthy, lasting a week to ten days.