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Adam Marcus Griffin

WINCHESTER — Adam Marcus Griffin, accused of fatally shooting Lorenzo Coles Wheeler on June 30 and seeking to have a witness killed a day later, will have one trial on both charges.

In March, Winchester Circuit Court Judge Brian Madden ruled in favor of a defense motion for two trials, one for first-degree murder and one for solicitation of murder. The latter trial was scheduled for this week. Griffin, 35, of the 900 block of North Braddock Street, is now scheduled to stand trial beginning Oct. 20.

The consolidation was approved May 25. In March, defense attorney Howard J. Manheimer said Griffin would have to testify in the solicitation trial to refute testimony of the jailhouse informant the prosecution is relying on. But he said Griffin could exercise his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination by not testifying at the murder trial and still be acquitted. Manheimer argued that combining the trials forced Griffin to testify.

On Monday, Manheimer said a “strategy change” led him to request one trial, but he wouldn’t elaborate. He said he didn’t want to compromise the case. Heather D. Hovermale, Winchester deputy commonwealth’s attorney, told Madden in March that there should be one trial because the cases were “inextricably intertwined.”

Wheeler, a 30-year-old city resident, was shot on the street outside 312 N. Kent St. Authorities haven’t given a motive.

Both men lived in the same home in Winchester in 2019 and both had extensive criminal records. Griffin’s record includes two robbery convictions in Fairfax County in 2005-06.

— Contact Evan Goodenow at egoodenow@winchesterstar.com

(2) comments

Chupacabra

As a general rule, if you want more of something you make it cheaper, and vice versa. IMHO, we have a lot of gun violence because we don't make using a gun in the commission of a crime costly enough.

A quick example... in 2018 112,710 people were rejected for attempted purchase of a firearm because they lied on their background check... That is a federal offense. You know how many were referred for prosecution or additional investigation? 12,700...

One may wonder how many of the 100,000 that were not prosecuted went on to obtain a firearm illegally and subsequently committed a crime with it... Our system is full of examples of firearm crimes that are not prosecuted. THAT is why we have gun crime.

When I was growing up, drunk driving was laughed and winked at. Then MADD came along and successfully made it a significantly criminal act that was heavily prosecuted... The result is it still happens, but not nearly as much as once was the case. We can make a big dent in gun crime by getting serious about prosecuting the criminals and stop wasting time going after law abiding gun owners. We didn't attack the problem of drunk driving by banning alcohol, we concentrated our efforts on the people that were the problem.

BryanLNuri

How often do the courts "go after" law-abiding gun owners? And do you want new laws to add "with a firearm" to laws on the books already? I thought we had enough laws already...

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