According to court documents Jeffery Griffin would rob a store where David Sobotik was the manager. Following the robbery Griffin would take David Sobotik and seven year old Horacio DeLeon to a remote location and stab the pair to death
A year prior Jeffery Griffin would murder a waitress
Jeffery Griffin would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death for the David Sobotik murder. Because he was under a death sentence he was not tried for the other two murders
Jeffery Griffin would be executed by lethal injection on November 19 1992
Jeffery Griffin Photos
Jeffery Griffin Case
Prison officials put a convict to death by lethal injection early Thursday for a 1978 killing, despite defense lawyers’ arguments that the doomed man suffered from mental impairment at the time of his crime.
Authorities pronounced 37-year-old Jeffery Griffin dead at 12:17 a.m. CST, moments after the condemned man said goodbye to his family — who were not present — then announced, ‘I’m going to be free.’
Griffin received the death penalty for the 1978 murder-robbery of David Sobotik, 19, manager of One-Stop Drive-In in Houston.
Griffin also was charged with, but never tried for, the stabbing death of Horacio DeLeon, a 7-year-old boy who ran errands for Sobotik. Griffin confessed to telling the boy he was sorry for killing him as he stabbed him.
Sobotik and the boy were abducted from the store March 12, 1978. Their bodies were found the next day in Sobotik’s car on a nearby deserted street.
After his arrest in those slayings, Griffin also admitted killing Silvia Mendoza, 20, a waitress, on July 23, 1978, and was charged with murder in that case. Her body was found in a Houston dumpster.
In court, Griffin’s lawyers described him as a former mental patient who had been in and out of hospitals since age 11. During his trial, Griffin carried comic books in his back pocket.
A federal judge in Houston Wednesday denied Griffin’s request for a stay, while the U.S. Supreme Court later rejected three last-minute defense pleadings — including one turned down just minutes before the convict’s scheduled execution.
Thursday, after doctors pronounced Griffin dead, state Assistant Attorney General Drew Durham expressed satisfaction with the judicial process.
Durham, noting that Griffin enjoyed 13 years of appeals before the execution, said, ‘We need to look out for the rights of the defendants and the victims, and we strike a delicate balance.’
But outside Hunstville State Prison, a handful of protesters demonstrated against executing anyone for any crime.
‘I would be here if it were Adolf Eichmann, Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin,’ said Bill Simon, a sociology professor at the University of Houston. ‘We don’t need to sink to that level.’
Griffin was the 11th inmate put to death so far this year in Texas, as well as the 27th nationwide.
He was also the 53rd Texas inmate executed since capital punishment resumed in 1976.