Griffith sentenced to 12 years

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— A 38-year-old Steamboat Springs man was sentenced to 12 years in prison for kidnapping and beating his ex-girlfriend and breaking into her bother's house and damaging his belongings.

District Court Judge Michael O'Hara sentenced Todd Griffith on Monday, almost two months after a 12-person jury found him guilty of first-degree burglary, second-degree kidnapping, second-degree assault, third-degree assault and criminal mischief.

Griffith was arrested last December on charges of kidnapping and beating a former girlfriend. The October trial lasted four days, and the jury deliberated for more than four hours before reaching its verdict.

The first-degree burglary charge stemmed from Griffith breaking into his ex-girlfriend's brother's home on Tamarack Drive, beating her and causing more than $500 worth of damage to the residence.

For the first-degree burglary charge, a Class 3 felony, Griffith faced four to 12 years in prison. It was the charge with the largest sentence.

Griffith also was sentenced to serve six years for second-degree kidnapping, six years for criminal mischief and eight years for second-degree assault. Those sentences will be served concurrently with the 12-year term for burglary.

Griffith was given more than a year of jail-time credit for the time he spent in jail preceding the trial and sentencing.

During the sentencing, Griffith apologized, according to court records. A restitution hearing has been set for Jan. 7.

Physical evidence and testimony from witnesses convinced the jury that Griffith broke into the Tamarack Drive home, beat the former girlfriend and then forced her out of the residence and dragged her from Tamarack Drive down the Yampa River Core Trail and to his trailer in Dream Island Mobile Home Community.

One police detective said he saw two sets of footprints in the snow along the bike path and two areas where it looked as if people had been struggling. Near these areas, he found the woman's shoes.

Police testified during the trial that when they saw Griffith leading the woman to his trailer, her clothes were so stiff and frozen they looked like cardboard. The victim also was bruised badly and her feet were severely frostbitten when police found her.

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