Jury deliberations in Griffin’s murder trial begin today | Winchester Star

WINCHESTER – A Winchester Circuit Court jury is due to begin deliberations today in the murder/solicitation of murder case involving a member of the Latin Kings street gang.

Adam Marcus “Loco” Griffin, 36, of the 900 block of North Braddock Street in Winchester, is charged with first degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a crime and being a criminal violent in possession of a firearm. All charges stem from the June 30, 2020 shooting death of Griffin’s friend Lorenzo Cole “Zo” Wheeler, 30, in the 300 block of North Kent Street.

Griffin is also charged with solicitation of murder for allegedly attempting to have a witness in the case, Erik “E” Carter of Winchester, killed because Griffin suspected he was cooperating with investigators.

Defense attorney Howard Manheimer has argued throughout the trial, which began Monday, that Carter was in fact the person who killed Wheeler. He tried to flesh out that argument on Wednesday morning by repeatedly asking the lead investigator in the case, Winchester police detective Marti Ivins, to discuss conversations she had with numerous people, including half a dozen inmates from the Northwest Regional Adult Detention Center, who may have provided information that could exonerate Griffin.

Each time Ivins was interviewed by Manheimer, she combed through the voluminous interview notes she compiled during her 18 months of investigation. It turned out to be a long process that eventually led to a tense exchange in the courtroom.

Winchester’s senior assistant Commonwealth prosecutor, Derek Aston, said Manheimer should give Ivins impressions of the interviews in question rather than do the detective search in his large investigative information box.

As Aston raised his objection, Assistant Defense Counsel Matthew Kreitzer cut him off to object to Aston’s request. Judge Brian Madden bluntly told Kreitzer to sit down and let Aston finish.

When Aston finished his comments, Kreitzer requested a conference call with Madden and lawyers for both sides. They spoke with the judge for more than two minutes, but their conversation could not be heard as white noise played over the courtroom gallery speakers.

At the end of the conference, Ivins continued her testimony and said that she had never heard or seen anything that led her to suspect Carter of being the culprit. She also noted that all information provided by Carter regarding Griffin’s alleged involvement in Wheeler’s death has been verified.

When Ivins – who was only the second witness called by the defense – finished testifying, Manheimer requested a 90-minute recess.

“We have some pretty significant issues to discuss with Mr. Griffin,” Manheimer said, leading to speculation in the courtroom that the defense had to decide whether Griffin should testify on his own behalf.

When the trial resumed at 12:40 p.m., Manheimer immediately said, “The defense is resting.”

Madden sent the jurors home after informing them that closing arguments would take place this morning and jury deliberations would begin immediately afterwards.

“We moved much faster than any of us anticipated,” Madden said of the unexpected conclusion to a trial that was expected to last until Friday.

As the jury prepared to leave the courtroom, Madden said he could “hopefully solve the case tomorrow.”

If convicted on all four counts, Griffin faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. He is still being held without bail at the North West Regional Adult Detention Center.

Elna M. Lemons