Marcus Bartholomew Griggs, a Broward County, Florida state assistant attorney, was arrested Thursday after his wife alleged that he struck and strangled her during an argument, news reports say. Griggs, 39, was booked into the Miami-Dade County Jail on charges of domestic battery by strangulation and simple battery. His bail bond was set at $10,500. It is unclear whether he has retained a private criminal defense lawyer.
Reports say that Griggs works as an assistant attorney with the prosecution wing of the Broward County attorney’s office. Before that, he worked as a defense lawyer for the Office of the Regional Conflict Counsel. The Counsel, also known as ORCC, provides lawyers to defendants that do not have the means to hire their own and are not eligible for a Public Defender. Griggs made headlines when he represented one infamous teen that had set another man on fire during his time at the ORCC. The trial ended with the teen pleading no contest to attempted murder and was sentenced to 11 years in prison, sources indicate.
Reports say Griggs and his wife had been married for eight years, and the two have a four-year-old daughter. Press reports indicate the couple lives on North Bay Road, in Sunny Isles Beach. On Saturday, Griggs ran into trouble with his spouse after she allegedly found messages on his Facebook account that were addressed to different woman. His wife, 35, reportedly disclosed that she had struck her husband a number of times after the finding. Griggs apparently did not retaliate, and it does not seem as though he plans on pressing charges for the assault.
The following day, Griggs’ wife delved deeper into the matter and revealed a series of phone calls and text messages between Griggs and another woman, reports say. When she confronted Griggs about the communication, his wife claims he became furious and shoved her onto their daughter’s bed with so much force that the bed came off the frame. He then yanked on her hair and jolted his foot into her abdomen, she alleges.
When the argument continued in the couple’s living room, the wife claims things escalated and Griggs locked his hands around her throat and began choking her. After a few moments where the woman could not breathe, the couple’s young daughter reportedly intervened and ordered Griggs to let her mother go, reports say. He purportedly complied with the request, and the victim then retreated to the bathroom and attempted a 911 call. This call was allegedly cut short when Griggs allegedly snatched the phone away from her. Reports say that Griggs then fled the home.
After police responded to the scene, they searched the vicinity for Griggs but were unsuccessful in locating him. The wife chose not to press charges for the assault and did not accept medical attention on the scene; however, police did photograph her bruising.
Police were unable to locate Griggs for a number of days following the incident, reports indicate. On Thursday, however, he was located, arrested, and booked into jail on domestic battery charges. A spokesperson from his employment office said he would be place on temporary suspension without pay. “As the case evolves and we learn more about the situation, we will further evaluate his employment status here,” the spokesperson wrote in a press release message.