Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Toledo man gets 17 years in prison for 2 shootings

Once a player for the Scott High School basketball team, Tremayne Griffin instead chose to live a life "far out of control," culminating with pulling the trigger during two incidents in which four people were shot, Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Gene Zmuda said Wednesday.

Griffin, 22, of 2237 Putnam St., was sentenced to a total of 17 years in prison after he was found guilty earlier this month of two counts of felonious assault and one gun specification. Judge Zmuda sentenced him to seven years in prison on each count plus a mandatory three years in prison for the gun specification, all to be served consecutively.

"You have chosen a life of violence. It is a life in which the gun is God and you live by that," the judge said. "It is a [life]style we do not accept. … Those who live a life of gun violence are removed from our society."

Judge Zmuda noted that Griffin was on community control for three unrelated cases at the time of the shootings. He also noted that Griffin was on bond in one shooting case when he was arrested for injuring others in a second shooting.

The judge said it was because of these factors as well as Griffin's criminal history that he ordered the sentences to be served consecutively, or one after the other.

Griffin pleaded no contest and was found guilty May 4. None of the victims involved in the cases attended Wednesday's hearing.

In a Jan. 12 incident, Steven Parker, Jr., 25, was walking in the area of Tecumseh and Hawley streets when he was approached by a vehicle driven by Griffin, who, after exchanging words, shot him in the abdomen. Police arrested Griffin shortly after and found a 25-caliber handgun near the driver's seat.

DNA consistent with Griffin's was on the weapon, and Mr. Parker, who is related to Griffin, identified him as the assailant.

In that case, Griffin was charged and ordered held on $100,000 bond. He was released after posting bond through a bail-bonding company.

Just days after his release on bond, on Feb. 5, Griffin fired a number of shots into a window at 621 Woodland Ave., during a Super Bowl party, injuring three people.

Investigators found an electronic monitoring device, which was traced through a local bonding company to Griffin.

Griffin made a brief statement in court during which he apologized to his family and the victims.

"I take full responsibility for the role I played in my actions," he said.

After learning his sentence, Griffin said through his lawyer that he wanted to withdraw his plea. The judge said that he could file such a motion and added that an appellate attorney would be appointed.

Assistant County Prosecutor Michael Loisel noted after the sentencing that Griffin was a "dangerous individual" with a known criminal history who shot four people while on community control.

"Gun violence like this needs to be punished appropriately as the state feels Judge Zmuda did in this case," he said. "The nature of the offenses lends itself to consecutive sentences. … A 17-year sentence is certainly appropriate."

According to his lengthy juvenile record, Griffin was charged with his first crime -- petty theft -- at age 11. In the years that followed, he was found delinquent of more serious charges, including receiving stolen property, petty theft, obstructing official business, grand theft auto, robbery, assault, and aggravated robbery.

Griffin will return to court Monday where he will face community control violations in those cases before Judge Stacy Cook.

Contact Erica Blake at: eblake@theblade or 419-213-2134.

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