Son of SPD officer pleads not guilty

Devin B. Griffith

A local man was arraigned in Pulaski Circuit Court Friday after being indicted in connection to a domestic altercation this summer with his father, an officer with the Somerset Police Department.

Devin B. Griffith, 24, of Mimosa Drive in Somerset, pleaded not guilty to the charge of first-degree Strangulation -- for which a local grand jury indicted him in September.

The charge stems from a July 29 incident investigated by the Kentucky State Police. KSP's London Post reported at the time that Griffith had been shot by his father -- Officer Jason Griffith, 47 -- during a domestic dispute altercation that had taken place at Ofc. Griffith's residence on Starlite Drive.

No charges were filed against either party at the time, with KSP Trooper Lloyd Cochran telling the Commonwealth Journal that "(t)he son started assaulting the father, and the father defended himself by firing a shot at him."

Devin Griffith was believed to be unarmed, according to KSP.

Pending the results of the investigation, Ofc. Griffith was placed on administrative leave but has since returned to duty, according to SPD Captain Mike Correll.

The younger Griffith -- still on crutches -- appeared Friday morning with his attorney Jason Scott Kincer, who asked Pulaski Circuit Judge David Tapp for a reduction of his client's $50,000 cash/property bond.

"The incident involves a father-son issue that is isolated," Kincer said. "An enormous bond is not necessary to ensure public safety."

Commonwealth's Attorney Eddy Montgomery offered no objection to a bond reduction -- saying that he had spoken with Ofc. Griffith about concerns for Devin Griffith's safety as the son of a police officer.

"The victim doesn't want his son in jail," Montgomery said.

Judge Tapp agreed to a $5,000 unsecured bond to be signed by Devin Griffith's grandfather. The judge did, however, order him into custody for processing and a drug screen but the defendant appeared to have been released on bond from the Pulaski County Detention Center as of Friday afternoon.

A tentative trial date has been scheduled for January 7.

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