Derrick Griffin, minister, charged with murdering Kristopher Miller
Derrick Griffin, an associate pastor at the North Side's True Vine Missionary Baptist Church, has been charged with murdering North High School staffer Kristopher Miller, acting in a rage of jealousy because Miller was in a relationship with his ex-wfe.
Miller was found shot dead in front of his home on May 11.
Griffin, 40, was arrested the next day, and held through the weekend before today's charges were announced.
He's the son of True Vine's senior pastor, Jessie Griffin. And he's no stranger to law enforcement, having been arrested numerous times since 1990 on allegations ranging from attempted theft to firearms charges.
Police said that Miller and Griffin's estranged wife Kim were leaving the Elk's Club on Plymouth Avenue the night of the murder, with Miller's sister and her boyfriend, when Kim spotted her estranged husband's white Cadillac across the street. "There is my ex-husband stalking me again," she said, according to the complaint. So Miller walked Kim to her car, gave her a hug, and she drove away. A few minutes later, MPD responded to reports of shots being fired in Miller's neighborhood on Irving Avenue N., but officers arriving at the scene found no trace of a gun or a shooter, so they left. An hour after that, Miller's body was found on the front porch of his duplex. There were no eyewitnesses to the shooting, but Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said that Griffin was charged after investigators pulled together ballistics reports, cell phone location data, surveillance camera video and other evidence to tie Griffin to the murder.
Miller, 27, graduated from North High in 2002 and went on to earn an associate degree in criminal justice from Minneapolis Community and Technical College before returning to North as a coach and informal dean of students.
His mother, Mardella Milton, is a former Minneapolis elementary school principal, and he was related to the late Richard Green, a former North principal who became schools superintendent in Minneapolis, and later in New York City.
City councilman Don Samuels spoke to mourners at a street memorial for Miller last week, saddened by the loss to "such a solid family." IBBN posted video. Watch:
Shooting Location: 1116 Irving Ave. N.
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Previous 2011 Minneapolis Homicides:
Krissy Bates, 45, was strangled, stabbed, and beaten to death on January 11 in her apartment at 1302 Linden Ave. Arnold Darwin Waukazo, her boyfriend, has been charged with murdering Bates, who was transgender.
Stanley Curtis Rogers, 58, was shot dead on the night of January 21 in what police describe as a robbery gone bad in an alley behind 3656 Clinton Ave. S. Ladell James Antone Johnson, 18, has been charged with his murder.
Jeremee Jon Kraskey, 32, died of multiple gunshot wounds early Saturday morning, February 26. Police found his body in the back yard of a home at 3520 14th Ave. S. near Powderhorn Park.
Stephanie Smith, 21, was shot and killed the night of March 28 as she was riding in a car on Park Avenue South with another man. Someone opened fire from another vehicle, and then sped away. There have been no arrests yet in the case.
Benjamin Van Handel, 23, a U of M student out late with friends in Dinkytown, was intentionally run over early in the morning on April 15. He died of his injuries April 21. Timothy Ayman Bakdash, 29, is charged with his murder.
Tomika Swoope, 19, was shot on April 25 in a suspected drive-by on Columbus Avenue South, near her home. Witnesses think she was mistaken for being a gang member. She died April 28 at Hennepin County Medical Center.
Keontrell Govan, 18, died the day after he was found shot in the alley behind the Church of St. Bridget in north Minneapolis on May 4. Ishmael Rashad Moore and Dashaunta D'Mar Gomez, both 17, have been charged with second degree murder in the case.
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