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Burglary victim indicted for fatally shooting intruder.

A prosecutor said the state’s “castle doctrine” didn’t apply when Donald E. Griffin III killed Quenton A. Savage after Savage broke into 3117 Easthaven Dr. S. through a second-floor window on Oct. 17.

Prosecutors said Griffin, 20, armed himself with a handgun after hearing noises coming from the second floor of the house he shared with his mother and sister. However, prosecutors contend, Savage, 29, was shot and killed after he had left the home and was no longer a threat.

Savage was shot more than once in the chest and was found facedown on the patio outside the house. He was unarmed.

A Franklin County grand jury indicted Griffin on one first-degree felony count of voluntary manslaughter with a gun specification. He could face up to 11 years in prison if convicted.

Cynthia Preston, Griffin’s mother, said she and her son were shocked to learn of the indictment from reporters yesterday. Griffin was not talking, but his mother was.

“What’s going on in the world today? People are getting killed, people are getting shot and robbed. And you can’t defend yourself?” Preston said. “He (Savage) had no business being at this address.”

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said the evidence conflicted with Griffin’s version of events.

“First, the fellow (Savage) was unarmed, and second, he was outside the home, after the entry had occurred,” O’Brien said. “The ‘castle doctrine’ didn’t apply because (Savage) wasn’t in the home.”

The doctrine allows Ohioans to defend themselves in their home or car.

Preston said her son insists that he shot the man inside his sister’s second-floor bedroom.

“I cannot believe that Ron O’Brien came back with charges knowing that he (Savage) broke into our house,” Preston said. “He was shot inside of my home.”

Preston said it hasn’t been easy dealing with the aftermath of the shooting.

“My son has to live with what happened, period, for the rest of his life,” Preston said.

Three other intruders were killed in Columbus last year by residents, none of whom has been charged.


  • Not sure where I am with this one. Certainly the home owner has a right to protect himself and if the guy really was inside, then he was fair game. If how ever the perp was fleeing and was unarmed deadly force was a bit much. However, I think the charge against the home owner is way off base. The article gives the impression that the prosecutor is making an example....if that is so, it is wrong. Not enough info here.
  • Kind of hard to understand this one. If the perp was fleeing, how did he get shot in the chest?. Just because he was outside the house when he died does not mean that he was shot outside the house.
  • Agree with fedcop but why didn't Griffin explain the circumstances further? Did the perp drag himself out of the house and then die outside? The_Arbiter has a point though about unarmed deadly force. And I'd think being shot in the chest kind of saying the perp was in the house. I remember my husband telling me if I ever shot someone *outside* the house, to be sure and drag him in. Of course, he was just kidding because he knew I couldn't drag anyone anywhere!
  • Sounds to me like a rookie DA trying to make a name for them self... if the perp was fleeing then he would have been shot in the back. Have the coroner check for bruising, blood puddling or fractures that may substain the 2nd story fall. was the room checked for GSR or blood spatter... What caliper gun was used? A person can travel a long ways on adrenaline and nerves... A lot of unanswered questions....
  • I'm pretty sure you could find the location of where a person was shot multiple times in the chest. And shots to the chest mean the shooter and shootee were facing one another. And that's about all you can deduce from the information contained in that news story.
  • I agree with Stingray! Not enough information here.
  • I agree there's really insufficient information here. However, there is a clue in the article..... "was shot more than once in the chest " Shot in the chest meant that the subject must have been facing the shooter and not "fleeing". At least that's one thing I got out of it. What we don't know is: what was the threat that was perceived by the home owner. After all, it's the perception of the threat by the home owner that should be the most important thing and not the actual presence of a threat with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight. It’s extremely sad when someone violates the sanctity of your home and you do what you think you have to do to protect yourself and some dip wad prosecutor wants to get his name in the paper over it and ruins the rest of your life in the process. I bet the local papers were filled with “He (the burglar) was such a good boy”….. “He had a rough life”…. “He never would’ve hurt a fly”…..
  • In these kinds of cases, I believe the victim, being the SHOOTER in this case, should be given the benefit of the doubt. The prosecution has a shaky case, as this case SCREAMS reasonable doubt. The shooter does not need to prove self defense. It is up to the prosecution to prove use of force was not warranted. It makes me really mad when we hand a prosecutor an open and shut case and they don't prosecute because they don't feel they have sufficient evidence to convict, and yet they file on this guy. Someone's running for office on this one. Justice should not be politicized
  • Being shot in the chest points to a confrontation in all cases, not a fleeing suspect by any imagination.
  • The Columbus Dispatch has issued this correction to their original article

    • Donald E. Griffin III is charged with voluntary manslaughter in the death of Quenton A. Savage. Franklin County Coroner Jan Gorniak said Savage was shot three times in the back. Because of a reporter’s error, the location of the wounds was incorrect in a story on Page B3 of yesterday’s Metro & State section.

    So apparently, the intruder was shot in the back, not in the chest as originally reported
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  • There are a lot of opinions here, but since so many of us are involved with enforcing the law, perhaps the law in this case should be considered. If the Burglary (this would be of a residence) took place in the state of New York, the owner of the residence would be allowed to use deadly physical force during the commission of that crime to protect themselves and or stop the intruder. Once that person is fleeing from the crime deadly physical force can no longer be used. The idea of the law is that someone in your place of residence could present a threat to your physical safety, but a criminal that has already fled or is in the process of fleeing does not.
  • When a person breaks into your home he has made a concious decision in his mind to ignore the law and disregard the rights of others. He is there to steal, rape or harm the home owner. The owner or occupants don't know which. He isn't there to perform a community service or act of kindness that's for certain. Applying the law as written, we have a right to confront and use the force necessary to stop the attack on our homes. I see no reason why that force cannot be used as the thief flees. It effectively ends the chance the criminal will do it again and may even save lives. I know there are many that won't agree but given our revolving door court system and rate of recidivism, I see no reason to keep giving burglars and violent offenders the benefit of the doubt. jmho
  • First even if he was shot in the back it did not mean that he was not in the home when he was shot. Second even if he was shot in the back it did not mean that he was facing the home owner when the home owner decided to fire the shot. Third all of this could have been avoided had the criminal not created the situation to begin with. Side with the victim (shooter) on this.
  • agreed with devildwg ... dont break into somebodys house and commit a crime . not every average joe citizen will just roll over for ya ...they will fight back ...the victim was in the right . There was a thing on the news a while ago about a B&E and some how the suspect that broke in landed on one of the home owners steak knives in the kitchen . He ends up suing the victim and I think he won .....come on Give me a break you break into home get hurt and the victim is at fault ?......uhhhh bunch of mental midgets ! !!
  • From the evidence at hand, this is how I say it went down.

    Kid hears noise upstairs and grabs gun. Kid races upstairs. Burglary suspect hears kid racing upstairs and tries to go back out the window. Kid allows adrenaline to cloud his judgement and shoots burglary suspect in 3 times the back and suspect falls the rest of the way out the window.

    Now, mind you, this is going on only the newspaper evidence, which is really nothing.
  • @wilavitt the paper says he was shot in the chest, not the back.
  • Right. That was a mistake. The Columbus Dispatch issued a retraction correcting that. According to the correction he was shot in the back
  • Ok. Then it makes a little more sense. But, as an aside, yet another example of you can no longer trust what is reported in the media.
  • I agree. Now we're faced with, did the reporter really report it wrong originally or is the media facilitating the admission of false evidence to further the left's anti-gun agenda. Either way, I say this is justifiable homicide. I'm tired of perps having more rights than victims
  • @glock_girl, I heard a news story years ago about a burglar repelling into a building through a broken skylight. The broken glass from the skylight severed the rope he was repelling in on and he fell and broke his leg. He also sued the owner of the property and won. That's just scandalous
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