Man shocked to be indicted for fatally shooting intruder

Defendant's mom: "People are getting killed, people are getting shot and robbed. And you can’t defend yourself?"
Jan 24, 2013


A man who fatally shot an intruder at his East Side home was charged with manslaughter this week.

A prosecutor said the state’s “castle doctrine” didn’t apply when Donald E. Griffin III killed Quenton A. Savage after Savage broke into 3117 Easthaven Dr. S. through a second-floor window on Oct. 17.

Prosecutors said Griffin, 20, armed himself with a handgun after hearing noises coming from the second floor of the house he shared with his mother and sister. However, prosecutors contend, Savage, 29, was shot and killed after he had left the home and was no longer a threat.

Savage was shot more than once in the chest and was found facedown on the patio outside the house. He was unarmed.

A Franklin County grand jury indicted Griffin on one first-degree felony count of voluntary manslaughter with a gun specification. He could face up to 11 years in prison if convicted.

Cynthia Preston, Griffin’s mother, said she and her son were shocked to learn of the indictment from reporters yesterday. Griffin was not talking, but his mother was.

“What’s going on in the world today? People are getting killed, people are getting shot and robbed. And you can’t defend yourself?” Preston said. “He (Savage) had no business being at this address.”

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said the evidence conflicted with Griffin’s version of events.

“First, the fellow (Savage) was unarmed, and second, he was outside the home, after the entry had occurred,” O’Brien said. “The ‘castle doctrine’ didn’t apply because (Savage) wasn’t in the home.”

The doctrine allows Ohioans to defend themselves in their home or car.

Preston said her son insists that he shot the man inside his sister’s second-floor bedroom.

“I cannot believe that Ron O’Brien came back with charges knowing that he (Savage) broke into our house,” Preston said. “He was shot inside of my home.”

Preston said it hasn’t been easy dealing with the aftermath of the shooting.

“My son has to live with what happened, period, for the rest of his life,” Preston said.

Three other intruders were killed in Columbus last year by residents, none of whom has been charged.


Allison Manning and Jim Woods - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)

©2013 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

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Distributed by MCT Information Services



It is so sad that people have to be desparate and break into somones home without even thinking the peoples house they are breaking into may have a gun and they could get shot! He WAS defending himself... and his family... geesh! the woman is righ when she said "what is the world coming to"??

tell it how it is

I completely agree with the right to bear arms, it's very important to me. And I strongly believe that this man was right to grab the gun if he was hearing an intruder..

BUT, the article states the intruder was shot after leaving the apartment. Guns are to be used in the case to defend lives, not possessions,ect. After the man leaves the apartment and hasn't hurt anyone, it's time to leave it up to the police.

If the shooting had happened while Savage was still in the apartment, Griffin would have been completely within his rights, and the court would have said the same. Because at that point, he'd still be a threat to the safety of everyone in the home.


He may have been inside when shot. Depending on what gun and where hit it is possible for him to exit before leaving a blood trail and collapsing.
The trial should get the truth out.


Not a whole lot of good information in this article, if he died on the patio he certainly could have been hit inside the house and collapsed. Just because you are shot does not mean you die instantly. I have no sympathy for an individual who is shot in killed during a crime whether it is in the house or the front lawn. I say good riddance to another low life most likely feeding a drug habit. Maybe if this happens more it will deter future robberies.

tell it how it is

I wasn't saying in any way that I have sympathy for him. At all. Like you said, good riddance, it's another person off the streets that was making it unsafe for us.

All my point is that if he was no longer considered a "danger," they will charge the man for murder. Whether that's right or not (which I don't believe it is) it's how it will go. People will use this as another reason for gun control, because once the man is no longer a threat, the fire arm is no longer being used for "protection." Hopefully the trial will tell where, exactly, the man was shot at and will be able to provide reasoning for using the gun. I, personally, believe he was completely within his rights to use it, but with all of the gun debate going on right now, there's going to be a very fine line in determining then "when & where" clauses..


...agree with that, propman (better to be judged by 12 than carried out by 6

jack langhals

There you go !


This guy will be cleared at trial. The fact that the intruder was shot in the chest is a pretty good indicator that he was probably not retreating when shot. So either the man shot him while he was still in the house and he made it outside and collapsed, or the intruder turned around and was coming back into the house, both would make it justified. This is nothing more than an overzealous prosecutor throwing out charges to see which one sticks.


I was often told:

If you happen to shoot the intruder outside, drag 'em back into the house.


Just read a story about some guy who shot and killed a dog who was attacking a neighborhood child and may be charged with gun crimes.


I took the NRA firearms safety instructor coarses for rifle, shotgun, handgun and home defence.
and a police detective came in for the home defemce.
If you alter the scene then the police WILL QUESTION WHAT YOU SAY HAPPENED.
Even if they fall in the doorway you leave them lay as they fell.


@ propman:

Not to worry, if they're staggering, I'll "encourage" 'em to come back inside. :)

As is said: Better to be judged by twelve, than carried by six.


This outcome should be interesting. You better shoot them inside your home and be able to prove it or you will be charged. If you alter the scene you will definitely be under alot of scrutiny. He broke in through a second floor window but was found outside on the patio? That is questionable guys!


He could have been blown (or fell) back out the window he came in, so landing outside on the patio may not be a big deal. Sometimes in these cases, the prosecutor will file some charge where there are questionable circumstances. Charges or not, many times where "castle doctrine" is involved, you STILL have to prove your innocence, either by overwhelming evidence or at trial. This could be one of those cases, where the prosecutor is covering HIS bases. A trial would (or should) answer any questions or complaints the perps family may have about his death, as well, so they can't come back on the shooter/protector. Just trying to look at the big picture. I'm sorry someone had to shoot and that someone died, but it wouldn't have happened at all if he hadn't been there.


Shoot in the chest!!!..Not the back.. Means victim (crook) was coming at, faced toward. Whether in home or porch was charging... THINK


Someone is watching too much tv!


So, if I'm being carjacked, I can't shoot the guy becuae he's outside my car?


Just hit the gas!


This kid should be cleared of all charges, the bottom line is the guy broke into their home and this kid was clearly protecting his family! I could see questioning it if the intruder was shot in the back but since he was shot in the chest he was obviously facing the kid and the kid felt threatened enough to pull the trigger. Whether he was outside or inside it shouldn't matter, point is he unlawfully gained entry to the home and was shot and killed in self-defense and the 20 year old boy was clearly protecting his mother and sister. This shouldn't even be going to a trial, someone breaks into my home I'm going to take what ever measures needed to protect my kids and my wife. I will not stand there and question whether I am within my rights, I am going to take immediate action and shoot the intruder whether they are armed or not. I will always assume that if they are breaking into my home that they are a dangerous criminal and are probably armed with either a gun, a knife, or some sort of weapon and it's my right and my duty to my family to protect them! Who's to say he didn't have an accomplice outside waiting that could have been armed and freaked out and ran off after seeing his criminal buddy take a round to the chest?! Hat's off to this kid that took matters into his own hands at the young age of 20 and protected his family, I'm sure he didn't set around every day hoping that someone would break into their home just so he could shoot them, he now has to live with the fact that he took a life and that's not always the easiest thing to live with.


I could have swore that the first article about this a few weeks ago said the intruder was shot and FELL OUT OF THE WINDOW. If I also remember correctly it stated that it was unsure if he died from the gunshot wound or the fall. Makes me wonder. But yes if he was shot in the chest...he wasnt retreating


so i hope this judge has someone break into his house and threaten his family, maybe worse...and then shoots the guy on his way out the door and see how he justifies himself, what a load of crap


How do you fall out the window if you are coming toward the guy? It has to be a reason he was charged because we all know you have the right to defend your home and family.


WRONG.. There doesn't have to be a reason in this "new" world we live in. Whiny @$$ people. It seems the criminal, have more and more rights. Can't you think of many other so called "pending charges" that are bought up just for crowd, mob, or political gain?


No I can't!


deertracker writes:

"...we all know you have the right to defend your home and family."

Void where prohibited by Progressive idiocy.


Break in my house and YOU will be the idiot.


deertracker writes:

"Break in my house and YOU will be the idiot."

And why would anyone want to break into a slum apt.? :)

Try livin' in the loony liberal lands of Chicago or DC where you're not allowed to protect your home and family with a firearm.

what the eff

Hey,...its always been a known fact...if ya gatta shoot them outside....drag them in the house and call the cops...and shut up..


Correction in the Dispatch

• Donald E. Griffin III is charged with voluntary manslaughter in the death of Quenton A. Savage. Franklin County Coroner Jan Gorniak said Savage was shot three times in the back. Because of a reporter’s error, the location of the wounds was incorrect in a story on Page B3 of yesterday’s Metro & State section


Well, I guess that explains it. Anyone want to rethink their opinion? You do have the right to defend your home and family but the story has to add up.


I was told the castle doctine in Ohio states that if you have a way out of the situation such as running, shutting a door, or some other means of getting out of the situation you can't use deadly force. I don't think it's right and if you are in my house at 2 a.m. and not supposed to be there you will be shot. I don't care if I can shut my door, etc. Best thing is if you do have to use deadly force better tell them you had no other choice and the person was crazy and foaming at the mouth and coming at you. Just make sure you don't shoot him 7 times with a 6 shooter. it may look bad on your part. Just saying