Career thieves get prison time this week in Greenwood court

Greenwood, S.C.; April 23, 2021 – A couple of lifelong thieves were sent to prison during the term of General Sessions court held this week in Greenwood County, 8th Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo announced Friday.

William Stanley Griffin, 57, and Johnny Leon Grant, 50, both of Greenwood, were sentenced to prison time in separate plea proceedings in which both men pleaded guilty to charges stemming from alcohol-fueled burglaries in late 2019 and early 2020.

Griffin pleaded guilty to charges second-degree burglary (violent), petit larceny, and possession of tools used in the commission of a crime in connection to an October 2019 incident in which Griffin broke into the Salvation Army, stealing some sodas and a computer monitor. Griffin was located in a bush by police with a strong odor of alcohol emanating from his person. Griffin has at least two prior convictions for burglary.

Grant pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree burglary and petit larceny in connection to an April 2020 incident in which he broke into a residence and stole an air conditioning unit while a couple lie sleeping in bed in the house. One of the victims was awakened by noise and awoke to find a man standing in his dining room. The victim said the man fled the residence through an open window in the dining room. The victim said that window had an A/C unit in it and that he saw the man carrying the unit toward the woods. Police later located the A/C unit in the woods and Grant hiding behind a tree near the unit. Grant was unsteady on his feet and police observed a half-consumed 40-oz. beer near where Grant was located.

Circuit Judge Frank Addy sentenced Griffin to 10 years in prison and Circuit Judge Eugene Griffith sentenced Grant to 15 years in prison for their respective charges.

Deputy Solicitor Yates Brown, supervisor of Solicitors Stumbo’s Greenwood court operations, handled both cases for the state. Grant was represented by Assistant Public Defender Tristan Shaffer and Griffin was represented by Assistant Public Defender Don Colongeli.

Solicitor Stumbo praised the work of his staff along with the excellent work done by the Greenwood Police Department in securing the convictions and lengthy prison sentences.

“As we resume full court operations in Greenwood this month, we are focusing on some of the worst offenders on our dockets like these two career criminals,” Solicitor Stumbo said. “To steal from others, and particularly from one of the most beloved and enduring nonprofit agencies in our country like the Salvation Army, is unacceptable.  We are glad these two will be off our streets for the foreseeable future.”

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