Angier, NC (BlackNews.com) — The family of Christian Griggs is calling for an immediate investigation into the Harnett County District Attorneys mishandling of homicides in the cases of their only son Christian Griggs, and also in the cases of Brandon Bethea and John Livingston. They say that District Attorney Vernon Stewart’s actions, and lack of action, have shown him as unfit to be a prosecutor or a member of the American justice system.
On Oct. 12, 2013, an unarmed Christian Griggs was gunned down while trying to flee from his enraged father-in-law, Pat Chisenhall, who was carrying a .22-caliber rifle. According to a sworn medical affidavit, Christian sustained six gunshot wounds one to his shoulder, one to his abdomen and the last four to his back.
Based on a critical discovery, a senior medical examiner determined that Griggs death was a homicide. After determining how the last four bullets entered Griggs back, the medical examiner concluded that Chisenhall had shot Griggs while Griggs was bending over or lying face down away from Chisenhall.
These findings disprove that Chisenhall acted in self-defense. Instead of arresting Chisenhall, the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office collaborated with Chisenhall’s family to conceal the murder by changing the crime scene. Despite the medical examiners report and the “shoddy investigation,” the family says that Stewart has “done nothing and allowed a murderer to go free.”
(The story was covered by ABC News back in 2015 – www.abc11.com/news/self-defense-or-murder-the-i-team-investigates/696462/)
Reportedly, Stewart made a similar hasty and unjust decision in the murder of Brandon Bethea, a mentally ill man who was in the Harnett County jail. Video cameras recording on March 15, 2011, confirm that multiple officers led a leg-shackled Bethea into a padded cell and unlocked Bethea’s handcuffs. Officer John Clark shot his Taser at Bethea’s chest, virtually paralyzing the man. As Bethea lay on the ground clutching his chest, Clark released two more loads of deadly electric current into Bethea’s chest. Then Bethea was left to die.
(For more details about this story, visit www.newsobserver.com/news/local/crime/article98093717.html)
The state medical examiner determined that Bethea’s death was a homicide. Stewart has not filed any charges in Betheas death, has purposely concealed investigation reports and has refused to release reports to the public.
Most recently, Stewart also reportedly failed the family of John Livingston, whom a Harnett County police officer gunned down while Livingston at his mobile home. On Nov. 15, 2015, officers arrived at Livingston’s door around 4 a.m., searching for a suspect in an assault investigation. Livingston informed the officers they were at the wrong residence and requested a search warrant. When the unarmed Livingston attempted to close his door, the officer forced entry and wrestled Livingston to the deck of his front porch and shot him, killing him.
(For more details about that story, visit www.newsobserver.com/news/local/crime/article74990327.html)
The Griggs family says that Stewart has mishandled these cases and others, denying justice to these families. After a grand jury failed to indict Livingstons killer, the FBI intervened to see whether any federal laws were violated in that case.
“We dont believe that anyone is safe in Harnett County as long as Stewart is the district attorney,” says Tony Griggs, father of Christian Griggs.
He and his family are inviting all to call for the immediate investigation of the DAs office and the resignation of Vernon Stewart!
They are asking the public to sign their online petition at https://campaigns.organizefor.org/petitions/urgent-fbi-investigation-harnett-county-da-s-office-is-corrupt.