Man pleads guilty to sex charges

Published 2:25 am Saturday, September 14, 2013

The county’s cold case task force earned its first conviction Friday, and in doing so, cleared two child sex abuse cases.

District Attorney Walt Merrell said the conviction of 62-year-old David Ozie Griggs of Andalusia came after the office discovered Griggs’ tie with a case from 2009.

“This case came to our attention when Chief Assistant District Attorney Grace Jeter discovered an unsolved sexual abuse case that Griggs was connected to while she was preparing a case for trial in another matter involving Griggs,” Merrell said.

That information was turned over to the commander of the CCTF, since as Jeter said, “There is no statute of limitations on sex abuse cases when a child is the victim, and we felt like we had a good opportunity to close this case since we were confident Griggs was the perpetrator in that old case.”

Investigators started by contacting the original case investigator, Elliot King – now a state probation officer.

“Fortunately, King had thoroughly documented his investigation back in 2000, and he remembered many of the details of the investigation,” Jeter said. “Over a matter of a few weeks, several witnesses from the original case were re-interviewed by CCTF members and when everything came together, we knew Griggs committed that crime in 2000.”

Jeter said the cold case was then scheduled to be presented to the September grand jury session; however, once Griggs’ attorney was informed of the new investigation, a plea agreement was arranged Thursday the case from 2000 and the 2009 case, Jeter said.

Friday morning, Griggs pleaded guilty to attempted sexual abuse of a child under 12 in front of Circuit Judge Charles A. “Lex” Short for the 2009 case.

Friday afternoon, he pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a child I from the allegations originally made back in 2000 in front of Circuit Judge M. Ashley McKathan.

Griggs was sentenced to the maximum sentence of ten years for each of the convictions.

On securing the convictions, Jeter said, “I’m just pleased that so many agencies came together to find justice for these victims. Now, a predator is behind bars where he can’t hurt anyone. I’m also comforted to know that the CCTF is seeing not only arrests, but now also a conviction.”