The shrinks have decided that dad KRISTOPHER GRIFFIN is competent to stand trial in the murder of his 6-year-old daughter. This article mentions Dad's purported history of mental illness.
It does not report that the murder took place around the time of a breakup and proposed moveway, and that abusive/control freak dads often inflict violence on the mother and/or children during separations, custody battles, and other similar circumstance--anything that "threatens" their "control." Note that Griffin does have a documented history of domestic violence (aggravated assault), so this is not brand-new behavior for him. See an earlier article from June that follows the one below for additional detail.
Dad fit to stand trial in child murder
Doctors declare Griffin competent to stand trial
Updated: Tuesday, 01 Sep 2009, 4:08 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 01 Sep 2009, 1:21 PM EDT
MANSFIELD, Mass. (WPRI) - A Mansfield man accused of killing his six-year-old daughter has been found fit to stand trial.
Kristopher Griffin, 35, was evaluated at Bridgewater State Hospital by state psychologists. They determined Griffin is competent to stand trial.
Police arrested Griffin back on July 24th , and charged him in the murder of his daughter, Kaitlynn, after investigators found a note in which they said he apologized for the crime.
Prosecutors said Griffin slit the little girl's throat.
Prosecutors say Griffin does have a history of mental illness. Once he was found competent to stand trial, a judge ordered Griffin held without bail.
He has pleaded not guilty to murder and armed home invasion.
Mansfield man faces charges in slaying of his daughter, 6
By Eric Moskowitz, Globe Staff July 25, 2009
A Mansfield man crept into the home of his former girlfriend early yesterday and, believing he was acting on God’s orders, slit their 6-year-old daughter’s throat, authorities said.
Worried that the mother planned to move away with young Kaitlynn, Kristopher L. Griffin slashed a window screen and clambered through a bulkhead before killing the girl, a prosecutor said in court yesterday.
“The defendant indicated that the only way he could save his daughter was to kill her, that God ordered him to do it,’’ said Cynthia Brackett, an assistant Bristol district attorney, recounting an interview Griffin gave to police.
The 35-year-old Griffin left a note seeking “forgiveness for sending Katie to heaven’’ and begged police to shoot him after he was picked up wandering barefoot in the rain in the quiet before dawn, according to police. But in court yesterday he said nothing, staring at the floor and sobbing as he faced charges of murder and home invasion. A plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf.
The judge ordered Griffin held without bail until his next court appearance in August and directed he undergo psychiatric evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital.
“I think it’s pretty apparent that there are some serious mental health issues here,’’ Joseph Krowski, Griffin’s public counsel, said after the arraignment.
The ghastly nature of the slaying stunned police and local residents. “It’s horrific and heartbreaking; there’s no other way to say it,’’ Mansfield Police Chief Arthur M. O’Neill said.
After investigators had finished collecting evidence from the Chilson Avenue duplex where Kaitlynn was killed, her tiny bicycle remained in the driveway, resting on training wheels. A pink helmet dangled from the handlebars, matching the frame. Neighbor Jimbo Tardivo choked up as he considered it. Kaitlynn would wave and tell playful stories from her second-floor window whenever she saw him below, he said.
“She was a little peanut, a little star in that window, and I’m going to miss her,’’ Tardivo said, his chest heaving under a Harley-Davidson T-shirt as he sobbed. “She was so adorable.’’
Tardivo said Griffin and his girlfriend, who was not identified by police, appeared to have a rocky relationship. Police and prosecutors said the couple broke up two weeks ago, and Griffin went to live in a camper in the yard of a friend’s house on Ware Street, 1 1/2 miles away.
At about 4:05 yesterday morning, the owners of that house called 911 to say that Griffin, who authorities say has been hospitalized multiple times for mental illness, had disappeared and might be in danger of harming himself. Twelve minutes later, the homeowners called again to say that they had discovered a frightening note indicating that Griffin’s daughter could be in danger.
In between those calls, Officer Joshua Ellender discovered Griffin wandering on East Street barefoot but wearing a backpack. Appearing calm, Griffin told the officer that he had merely gone for a walk to an all-night pharmacy to get medication, and he accepted a ride home.
Back on Ware Street, one of the homeowners approached the cruiser and told the officer about the note. According to the officer’s report, Ellender asked Griffin if he had hurt anyone, and he replied: “Yes. . . . She’s gone, I had to save her, I killed my little girl.’’
Griffin, with blood staining his cheek and chin, shouted that he wanted to die, banged his head against the police cruiser’s glass, and begged to be shot, Ellender wrote. Griffin handed over the backpack containing the knife he allegedly used to kill his daughter and told police she could be found in the basement of the Chilson Avenue home.
At the same time, other officers were on their way to the yellow, two-family house. When they arrived, the child’s mother told them she thought the girl was asleep in bed. But police found her under a blanket in the basement, her throat slit, O’Neill said.
Taken to the station for booking, Griffin asked police if Massachusetts had the death penalty. Told it did not, he became disconsolate and tried to hit his head against the wall, prompting officers to handcuff Griffin to a bar to prevent him from harming himself, police said.
His clothing removed for evidence, Griffin appeared in an open-backed johnny yesterday in Taunton District Court, under the jurisdiction of Attleboro District Court, which was displaced from its own courthouse by a fire. At 5-foot-5, the 235-pound Griffin was dwarfed by the court officers who flanked him.
O’Neill, the Mansfield chief, said Griffin had no record of violence in the seven or eight years since he moved to the area from Florida.
But criminal records in that state show Griffin was arrested in 1999 by the Jacksonville sheriff’s office on an aggravated-assault charge for a reported domestic incident, but the charge was apparently dropped.
A spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families said she could not comment on whether the department had been involved with the family.