The family is now alleging massive corruption and a cover up by Harnett County District Attorney Vernon Stewart.
Angier, NC (BlackNews.com) â€“ On October 12, 2013, white local Pastor Pat Chisenhall brutally killed his black son-in law 23-year-old Christian Griggs, fatally shooting Christian 6 times, 4 in the back as he lay wounded. The state medical examiner ruled Christian’s death a homicide.
Since Christian’s tragic killing, District Attorney Vernon Stewart and Harnett law enforcement have done everything in their power to avoid holding Pat Chisenhall accountable, including tampering with evidence, withholding key information and maintaining deep-seated conflicts of interests. Most recently, the family discovered that DA Stewart has withheld additional forensic data critical to the case. Dolly and Tony Griggs, Christians parents, issued the following statement:
“The problems with DA Vernon and Harnett County law enforcement’s investigation into our son’s killing, or the lack there of, are almost too many to count. Months ago we were told by officials that no gunshot residue tests were performed, but when picking up Christian’s personal belongings this week we were presented with documentation revealing gunshot residue tests (GSR) performed on both Katie and Pat Chisenhall. GSR would determine who discharged the firearm and confirm or contradict their narrative of the shooting. What is the outcome of the test? What other information is DA Stewart hiding? This latest revelation only further deepens our grave mistrust of DA Stewart and local police.
“Our description of the crime scene differs from pictures shown to our legal counsel and it’s clear the crime scene had been doctored. The police report also indicates that the case was closed the day of the shooting with no investigation and prior to the autopsy release. We believe the crime scene was changed after the autopsy revealed Christian had been fatally shot in the back while he lay wounded. And the conflicts of interest run deep. Pat Chisenhall’s attorney is DA Stewart’s former partner, who is also a financial contributor to Stewart’s election committee. Another officer close to the investigation was a neighbor of Pat Chisenhall and a friend who fraternized with Katie Chisenhall. If we hadn’t raised our voices, DA Stewart would have succeeded in sweeping Christians death under the rug.
“There is more than enough probable cause and evidence for DA Stewart to charge Chisenhall, but he refuses to do his job. Honestly, he should be removed from office for unethical conduct. No family should ever have to go through losing their son and then having to fight for justice, this case must go before a jury. We and our supporters will not rest until our family receives the due process and justice entitled to every citizen. Unlike Pat Chisenhalls, who claims not to remember the events of that day, we will never forget the cost of his murderous action.
“We demand that DA Stewart recuse himself and allow NC Attorney General Cooper and the NC State Bureau of Investigation to thoroughly investigate the homicide of our son and bring Christians killer, Pat Chisenhalls, to justice. This type of racial discrimination, corruption and cronyism is unacceptable in North Carolina’s justice system and we need state and federal officials to ensure fairness and equity. More than 16 months since Christian was killed and District Attorney Vernon Stewart has made it clear that he is incapable of doing his job.
More than 4,700 people have joined the Griggs family campaign: www.JusticeForChristianGriggs.org
Photo Caption: Christian Griggs, pictured with his daughter, was killed by his father in-law who is a white pastor in Angier, North Carolina