Steve Griffith Killed In Cold Blood By Delusional Mad Man
images by Cullman Today
Sheriff Gentry’s remarks effectively paint the picture that Stephen Griffith was killed in cold blood by a delusional mad man.
In a powerful press conference at 3:00 pm Tuesday, Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry provided further details into the homicide incident that left prominent Cullman attorney Stephen K. ‘Steve’ Griffith along with his assailant, Patrick O. Walker of Jones Chapel, dead Monday night.
A longtime, well-respected Cullman legal practitioner, Griffith was shot and killed in cold blood at his home by Walker at 2315 County Road 1301 sometime before 6 pm Monday. This location is near the South Vinemont community.
Griffith was 73 years old.
For background on this incident, please see:
During this press conference at the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office Training Center, Sheriff Gentry moved quickly to lay a variety of community rumors and citizen speculation to rest.
As you can see for yourself in this verbatim replay of his press remarks, Gentry made the case that Patrick Walker had a history of mental illness with a concomitant, delusional ‘infatuation’ with Griffith which culminated in the lethal shooting episode:
Gentry also laid a portion of the blame on Walker’s actions on a failure of both society and the mental health care system in Cullman County.
He also forcefully dispelled a publicly circulating notion that this was a murder-for-hire, professional ‘hit.’
Sheriff Gentry indicated in the press conference that another occupant in the home engaged in “a long struggle” with the assailant. This hand-to-hand combat led to the ‘occupant’ ultimately killing Walker.
While the Sheriff refused to name the ‘occupant,’ it was obvious to most observers he was referring to Stephen Griffin’s wife, Mrs. Jackie Griffith.
While not officially confirmed by law enforcement, EMS or Cullman Regional, multiple reliable sources indicate that Mrs. Griffith was transported from the crime scene to the hospital to be evaluated and treated for trauma suffered during the incident.
The full statement read: “The patient, Jackie Griffith, is being treated by our medical team and remains in good condition. She and the family want to thank the community for their prayers. But they also ask that everyone respect their privacy as they continue to heal and mourn through this process.”.
Dossey also presented a statement from the family of Stephen Griffith.
Gentry was also keen to point out “This was an isolated incident.” The Sheriff was an attempting to calm frayed neighborhood and community nerves while ensuring everyone understands this is NOT a global threat to citizens.
The Sheriff also refused to provide details on the murder weapon Walker wielded and the instrument of death the ‘occupant’ used to end Walker’s life. He also declined to offer a description of what exactly occurred inside the home during the incident except in the most factually limited way.
The bulk of Gentry’s remarks focused on mental illness, societal failures and a breakdown in Cullman area treatment options:
“This is a subject we’ve talked about many times. It’s a subject that makes me angry to talk about. That’s mental illness.”
Public records show Patrick Walker had a 2nd-degree marijuana possession arrest in Robertsdale in Baldwin County. The case was dismissed with conditions. It does not appear Walker served any jail time. He has no other visible criminal history.
There is no public record that we could undercover delineating any documentation of Walker’s alleged mental infirmities.
Sheriff Gentry said he personally knew Steve Griffith: “I’m going on 18 years in law enforcement and I have many friends. Steve Griffith was my friend.”
Cullman County Coroner Jeremy L. Kilpatrick has indicated that the remains of Griffith and Walker were delivered to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences. The death investigation is ongoing with autopsies scheduled for both parties.
Griffith practiced law for almost 50 years. He was the highly respected, senior partner at Griffith, Lowry & Meherg, located on the First Avenue SW in the City of Cullman.
The law firm posted a public acknowledgment on the Griffith, Lowry & Meherg Facebook page following Griffith death:
The press conference did not close this case. It was a summation of what is known, plus what the Sheriff’s Office is willing to communicate publicly at this time. It is expected that investigators are still active and that all avenues of discovery will be pursued in this case.