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Man pleads guilty to charges in 2019 crash that killed veteran MPD lieutenant

Marquell Griffin was scheduled to go to trial on Monday, but instead pled guilty as charged to all counts in the death of MPD Lt. Myron Fair.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — UPDATE 7/16/2021 - (Shelby County District Attorney General News Release) - An intoxicated, speeding motorist who struck and killed Memphis Police Lt. Myron Fair two years ago pled guilty Friday to aggravated vehicular homicide and 13 other criminal counts, said Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich.

Defendant Marquell Griffin, 52, was scheduled to go to trial on Monday, but instead pled guilty as charged to all counts before Criminal Court Judge John Campbell.

By pleading “open” to the court, his sentence will be determined by the judge in a hearing on Aug. 16. Griffin remains in the Shelby County Jail.

The crash occurred around 12:30 a.m. on March 21, 2019, as Fair waited at a stoplight in a northbound lane of Austin Peay Highway at Yale Road. He had just gotten off work when Griffin’s SUV struck his vehicle from behind, causing it to flip and roll over several lanes of traffic.

Witnesses told police that Griffin got out of his vehicle and walked to a nearby service station where he was identified, detained and taken back to the scene.

Investigators said tests showed the SUV was traveling at 117 mph five seconds before the crash, and at 94 mph at impact. Griffin, who has two prior DUI convictions, had a .166 BAC. Several plastic baggies containing marijuana were found in his vehicle.

On Friday Griffin pled guilty to two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, three counts of vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of an accident involving death, and two counts of possession of marijuana with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver, all felony offenses.

Aggravated vehicular homicide is a class A felony which carries from 15 to 25 years in prison. With two prior DUI convictions, Griffin would have to serve at least 60 percent of his sentence before being considered for parole.

He also pled guilty to five counts of driving under the influence of intoxicants or drugs, and one count of reckless driving, all misdemeanors.

The case is being handled by Chief Prosecutor Glen Baity and by Asst. Dist. Atty. Kenya Smith of the District Attorney’s DUI Unit which works with local law enforcement to reduce the number of DUI-related fatalities and injuries in Shelby County.

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5/24/2019 - (SHELBY COUNTY D.A. NEWS RELEASE) – A 50-year-old motorist was indicted Thursday on multiple felony counts, including vehicular homicide while intoxicated, stemming from a crash earlier this year that killed veteran Memphis Police Lt. Myron Fair, said Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich.

Fair, a 25-year veteran who was approaching retirement, was on his way home from work when his vehicle was struck from behind at an intersection in Raleigh.

A grand jury indicted Marquell Griffin on charges of vehicular homicide involving recklessness and intoxication, aggravated vehicular homicide, driving under the influence, possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell or deliver, and leaving the scene of an accident involving death.

Griffin, who has three prior DUI convictions, is being held in the Shelby County Jail on $500,000.

The crash occurred around 12:15 a.m. on March 21 at Austin Peay Highway and Yale Road.

Investigators said Fair was stopped at a traffic light in his 2017 Altima when he was struck from behind by a 2015 Dodge Durango driven at a high rate of speed by Griffin.

Griffin walked away from the crash and was arrested a short time later at a nearby service station.

The case is being handled by Chief Prosecutor Glen Baity and Asst. Dist. Atty. Kenya Smith of the DA’s DUI Prosecution Unit whose members work with local law enforcement seeking to reduce the number of DUI-related fatalities and injuries. The DUI Prosecution Unit also conducts training sessions to update law enforcement officers on changes in traffic and DUI laws.

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