Victim takes stand in trial


The prosecutor and the public defender offered two stories Tuesday about the events leading to the arrest of a 36-year-old Steamboat Springs man on charges of second-degree attempted murder and kidnapping.

Tuesday was the second day of Todd Griffith's four-day trial and included testimony from the victim and opening statements from Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James and Public Defender Ron Smith. Griffith has been charged with five felony counts and several misdemeanors on suspicion of kidnapping and beating a former girlfriend last December.

The woman said she and Griffith used cocaine and drank vodka at his trailer in the Dream Island Mobile Home Community from Dec. 12 to 16.

The morning of Dec. 16, Griffith would not allow her to go to work, blindfolded her and tied her feet and hands, she said. When he became distracted, the victim said she was able to leave the trailer, taking Griffith's cocaine with her, and call her brother to pick her up.

She told the jury she used cocaine with her brother when they went back to his house in the Fish Creek Falls condominiums.

Later that day, Griffith found her at the house, where he proceeded to beat her and then dragged her from the house and along the Yampa River Core Trail back to his trailer, she said.

Along the bike path, the victim said she lost her shoes and had to walk in her socks through the snow. During the walk, Griffith pushed her down and hit her numerous times, she said.

As they approached Dream Island, the victim said she saw three police vehicles and thought her life had been saved.

On cross-examination, Smith questioned the victim's character and noted she previously had been convicted of theft and had used her cocaine addiction as an excuse for stealing.

He also asked the victim why she had waited eight months before telling police she had stolen cocaine from Griffith that morning.

In his opening statements, Smith gave Griffith's version of what happened that day. He said the victim wanted to use cocaine and harassed Griffith about it. While Griffith was in the shower, the victim took his cocaine and left, Smith said.

Griffith had gone to the woman's brother's house that afternoon. After talking about why the victim had stolen the cocaine, the two agreed to walk back to his trailer together.

Somewhere along the bike path, Smith said, the victim lost her shoes and Griffith had put his arm around her to help her walk faster. He also said at one point, Griffith left the bike path to get a bottle of vodka, and the victim continued walking toward the trailer.

Others testifying Tuesday included a police officer who helped arrest Griffith and two medical professionals who testified about her physical condition after the alleged assault.

The trial continues today in District Court.


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