Man admits to perjury in 2002 carjacking case

March 31, 2006|By ANDREA F. SIEGEL | ANDREA F. SIEGEL,SUN REPORTER

A friend of a man accused of a high-profile Annapolis slaying admitted this week that he lied during his testimony in the case.

Jeffrey A. Griffin, 23, of Glen Burnie pleaded guilty Tuesday before Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Joseph P. Manck to one count of perjury stemming from conflicting statements he made about whether he gave his friend what may have been the murder weapon.

Under oath in November 2002, Griffin told a grand jury that he gave Terrence Tolbert a revolver before the Sept. 19, 2002, fatal carjacking of Straughan Lee Griffin near the State House and later got it back. He said that he knew Tolbert had something to do with the murder of the Annapolis businessman, who is not related to Griffin.

But at Tolbert's murder trial in January 2005, Griffin recanted. He said he neither gave nor received a handgun from Tolbert.

"We believe the statements he gave to the grand jury," said Kristin Riggin, spokeswoman for the Anne Arundel County state's attorney's office.

Jeffrey Griffin's twin brother, Jonathan, also recanted his testimony and is facing a perjury trial in May. Together, the brothers' grand jury testimony explained that they provided Tolbert with a handgun, got it back and sold it.

Tolbert was convicted and is serving life in prison without parole.

His alleged accomplice, Leeander Jerome Blake, was released after Maryland courts found that Annapolis police violated his rights when they questioned him. The U.S. attorney's office in Baltimore is considering whether to pursue the Blake case. Blake is due in an Anne Arundel County courtroom next week on charges that he assaulted and harassed his former girlfriend last year.

Jeffrey Griffin is tentatively scheduled to be sentenced June 6.

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