Jury finds Griffin guilty of cold case murder - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Jury finds Griffin guilty of cold case murder

Darnell Griffin Darnell Griffin
Evelyn Luka Evelyn Luka
Kevin Takata Kevin Takata
James Morimoto James Morimoto

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Members of an Oahu family who have been waiting 10 years for justice expressed relief Monday, after a jury found the man suspected of killing their loved one guilty of murder.

Darnell Griffin looked stunned as the verdict was read. He did not testify during the trial.

In September 1999, Evelyn Luka went to Venus Nite Club and was seen leaving with a man. She was later found battered and unconscious along the H-2 Freeway in Waipio.

Prosecutors say the case went cold until DNA evidence linked Griffin to the crime.

This is Griffin's second murder conviction. He killed another woman back in 1980.

"This is one of the most gratifying verdicts I think I've experienced in my years at the prosecutors because, by this verdict, we take a sexual predator who was on his way to becoming a serial killer off the streets," Kevin Takata, deputy prosecutor, said.

"Our family suffered so much for so long, and we are relieved," James Morimoto, victim's brother, said through tears. "It's unfortunate that my father could not be here."

The jury, however, found Griffin not guilty of sexual assault.

Because of his previous murder conviction, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. Sentencing is set for July 1st.

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