Griffin, McDonald murder trials set

Harold Clyde Griffin Jr.JPG
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Harold Clyde Griffin Jr.

Morgan Lynn McDonald.JPG

By William F. West
Staff Writer

Friday, March 9, 2018

Trial dates are set for a pair of first-degree murder cases in Pasquotank Superior Court, including one scheduled to get underway the last week of this month.

Harold Clyde Griffin Jr., 46, is set to stand trial the week of March 26 for the December 2015 fatal shooting of Timothy Leon “TL” Stokley III, 37, in northern Pasquotank, District Attorney Andrew Womble said in an email earlier this week.

Womble also confirmed a trial date has been set for Morgan Lynn McDonald for the March 2016 fatal stabbing of Summer Faith Waaga, 18, in Elizabeth City. McDonald, 19, is set to stand trial the week of May 21, Womble said.

According to court records, Griffin and Stokley were among four people traveling in a vehicle on Sawyer Road the evening of Dec. 30, 2015. At some point the vehicle stopped and Griffin and Stokely got out. Griffin then allegedly shot Stokely, returned to the car and rode off with the two other people. Stokley’s body was discovered later by another motorist.

According to an autopsy report, sheriff’s deputies found multiple shell casings near Stokley’s body. The report also indicates Stokley may have been in the area where he was shot to purchase illegal drugs.

Court records show prosecutors intend to call Dr. William Oliver, of East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine, to testify. Oliver is expected to tell jurors Stokley was shot at least eight times and died of multiple gunshot wounds.

N.C. Public Safety records show Griffin has a history of arrests dating back to 1989. In October 2005, he was sentenced to five years and 11 months in prison following his conviction for robbery with a dangerous weapon in Camden County.

Griffin also spent 11 months in prison following his conviction in Pasquotank County in January 2003 for speeding to elude arrest. That sentence also covered convictions in another criminal case that involved charges of violating a domestic protective order, assaulting a female and communicating threats. Griffin also has a long list of convictions for drug-related and receiving stolen goods charges, according to court records.

In the McDonald case, emergency medical services personnel reported finding Waaga lying in a driveway off Butlers Lane, the victim of an apparent stabbing, the morning of March 13, 2016. EMS personnel tried to resuscitate Waaga, but she died half an hour later at Sentara Albemarle Medical Center.

Court records indicate the District Attorney’s Office intends to call Dr. M.G.F. Gilliland, of ECU’s Brody School of Medicine, to testify. Gilliland is expected to tell jurors Waaga died as a result of blood loss from a stab wound to her upper right chest. The autopsy report states Waaga was stabbed with a pocket knife.

According to court records, McDonald’s defense attorney, Chrissy Simmons of Manteo, intends to call psychologist Dr. Ginger Calloway to testify at McDonald’s trial as an expert witness. Simmons stated in a court filing that McDonald has a history of treatment for mental health issues dating to 2007.

Pasquotank sheriff’s officials said both Griffin and McDonald remain in custody at Albemarle District Jail.

Assistant Public Defender Jay Hollingsworth, who’s representing Griffin, declined comment. Simmons couldn’t be reached for comment.