Griffin murder trial to commence in June
What ever happened to Darnell Griffin, who was charged March 30, 2007, in the 1999 rape and murder of a 20-year-old woman?
Answer: Griffin is scheduled to go to trial the week of June 23.
The prosecution told the court on Feb. 13 at a trial status conference it was not ready for trial, according to court minutes. The court minutes further showed the FBI was being brought in to look at Griffin's past.
Another trial status conference is scheduled for April 23.
Griffin is suspected of killing and raping Evelyn Luka, who was last seen alive September 1999 leaving Venus Nite Club with a male companion.
Her body was left for dead near the Ka Uka Boulevard onramp to the H-2 freeway.
He had served time for a 1980 strangulation murder and had been paroled March 1996. His DNA matched evidence obtained earlier from Luka, who lay in a coma at the Queen's Medical Center after being beaten, choked and raped.
This was the first arrest in a cold case Honolulu police made using DNA evidence after a law was passed in 2005 requiring all convicted felons to submit DNA samples to a national database.
The DNA evidence was obtained in November 2006 from Griffin.
Griffin's bail was set at $5 million.
Griffin was convicted of killing Lynn Marie Gherardi in 1980.
Griffin, a native of Chicago, was stationed at Schofield Barracks for two years as an E-4 specialist.
He had harassed Gherardi after she refused to go out with him again, according to witnesses. He showed up at her Makiki apartment on Oct. 10, 1980. Gherardi was found strangled in her Makiki apartment three days later.
At the time of Gherardi's death, Griffin was 22 and living with his girlfriend in Salt Lake.
This update was written by Leila Fujimori.
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