Man bound over for murder of former boss in Taylor
PONTIAC, Mich. (WJBK) - A man charged with killing two people and stealing a semi truck in a crime spree that crossed the Detroit area in February. For the first time, we heard testimony of what happened that deadly February day.
Vernest James Griffin, 45, is charged in both Wayne and Oakland Counties. He's accused of a killing spree that started at a business in Taylor and went all the way to Pontiac. Two men were killed that February day.
Shaun Sykes testified on Monday. He was at BSD Linehaul in Taylor when he heard 60-year-old Keith Kitchen being murdered by a former employee.
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"(I) heard four gunshots. A pause, four more. I waited a few seconds and walked into the front office to see Keith shot and killed," Sykes said. "When I looked out that window I saw James Griffin grabbing a backpack out of his backseat."
Sykes said Griffin was carrying an AK-47 when he looked outside.
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Also testifying was mechanic Brandon Fondren who says Griffin killed Keith and then approached him and demanded keys to his truck.
Prosectors say Griffin grabbed a set of keys then approached another worker outside, Patrice Emery Lumumba, who was inside his truck when he saw Griffin with a gun.
"I decided to greet him first. (I said) 'How you doing my brother?'" Lumumba said. "He opens the door and tries to shoot me."
Lumumba runs off and Griffin takes off in his truck. That's when police said he went to Aluminum Blanking in Pontiac where he killed 58-year-old Eriberto Perez.
That murder case is out of Oakland County. There, Griffiin is accused of going to another former place of employment looking for the general manager, who wasn't there. It all ended in a shoot out with police.
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Griffin was bound over for the murder of Kitchen on Monday. He'll be back in Wayne County court in May for more charges.