Defense lawyers claiming Griffin is mentally retarded - ABC 40 KRHD-TV - Bryan/College Station News and Weather |

Defense lawyers claiming Griffin is mentally retarded

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BRYAN- Jury was let out early Friday as the defense has witnesses from other states coming in on Monday to testify in the capital murder case of Stanley Griffin.

The last witness called on the stand for the state was Griffin's parole officer, Sydney Lemons.

District Attorney Bill Turner asked,"Ya'll do IQ tests in the penitentiary?"

Lemons said,"Yes we do."

"And Stanley Griffin did not meet the criteria for special needs mentally retardation?" Bill Turner asked.

"No, he did not," Lemons said.

State prosecutors tried to ask those questions knowing the defense is arguing Griffin is mentally retarded.

Stanley Griffin shed a few tears as his defense lawyers spoke about his childhood during opening statements today.

"This lack of nature and lack of nurture in his life formed a person that diminished control over his anger and impulses," Stephen Gustitis said.

The defense only called a few witnesses today including one of Griffin's former employers. Griffin worked for Eddie Smith helping him around his house with manual labor.

He told jurors Griffin called him one night about a week before the murder of Jennifer Hailer and was upset about his break-up with Andrea Coplen.

"I could tell he didn't know what to do anymore and he was grasping at hope," Smith said.

Gustitis asked, "Was he crying on the phone?"

Smith responded,"Yes, sir."

Smith testified about Griffin asking him for a place to sleep that night as well.

Defense lawyers plan to bring in neighbors, past school teachers and family members next week.

All together 18 witnesses testified against Griffin in the first two days of the punishment phase.

The state is seeking the death penalty in this case.