Man who killed Memphis officer in DUI wreck pleads guilty to vehicular homicide

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Marquell Griffin

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man who hit and killed a Memphis Police officer in 2019 pleaded guilty Friday to vehicular homicide and 13 other counts, Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich’s office said.

Marquell Griffin, 52, had been scheduled to go to trial on Monday, but instead pleaded guilty as charged to all counts.

Shelby County prosecutors said Friday that Griffin was intoxicated and speeding on March 21, 2019 when he slammed into a car driven by Lt. Myron Fair, a 25-year veteran of the Memphis Police. Fair was stopped at a light on Austin Peay at Yale Road on his way home from work around 12:30 a.m.

Griffin’s SUV hit Fair’s vehicle from behind. It flipped and rolled over several lanes of traffic. Witnesses said Griffin got out of his vehicle and walked to a nearby gas station.

Investigators said tests showed the SUV was traveling at 117 mph five seconds before the crash and 94 mph at impact. Griffin was driving on a revoked license at the time.

Lt. Myron Fair

Griffin has two prior DUI convictions. Prosecutors said he had a blood alcohol level of .166. Several plastic baggies containing marijuana were found in his vehicle, they said.

Griffin pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, three counts of vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of an accident involving death, and two counts of possession of marijuana with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver, all felony offenses.

Prosecutors said the aggravated vehicular homicide is a class A felony that carries from 15 to 25 years in prison. With two prior DUI convictions, Griffin would have to serve at least 60 percent of his sentence before being considered for parole.

Griffin also pleaded guilty to five counts of driving under the influence of intoxicants or drugs, and one count of reckless driving, all misdemeanors.

His sentence will be determined by the judge in a hearing on Aug. 16. Griffin remains in the Shelby County Jail.

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