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.