Early Friday morning, police say, Kristopher Griffin jimmied a door of his former Chilsom Avenue home and killed his daughter because, he said, “God told me to do it."
Early Friday morning, police say, Kristopher Griffin jimmied a door of his former Chilsom Avenue home and killed his daughter because, he said, “God told me to do it." By 4:17 a.m., police discovered the body of Kaitlynn Griffin, 6, in the basement of the Mansfield home she shared with her mother and siblings. Her throat had been slit. Griffin, 35, is charged with the murder, and will spend the next 20 days at Bridgewater State Hospital to undergo psychological and psychiatric evaluations to determine whether he is fit to stand trial, and whether he knew what he was doing when he allegedly killed his daughter. Griffin, clad in a hospital gown, pleaded not guilty in Taunton District Court Friday afternoon. His attorney, Joseph Krowski, asked to postpone the psychiatric evaluation until he is able to hire his own experts. Griffin left a note inside the Ware Street trailer he had been staying in for the last two weeks asking “forgiveness for sending Katie to heaven,” said Bristol County Assistant District Attorney Cynthia Bracket. Mansfield Police Chief Arthur O’Neill said the knife used was recovered - Griffin had it in a backpack he was carrying. He described it at as “a substantial knife” and not a pocket or kitchen knife. O’Neill said the knife was similar to one used to filet fish. Other items also were recovered from the backpack, but O’Neill declined to elaborate. A family friend, and the mother of Kaitlynn’s best friend, was in court for the arraignment, but told reporters she did not have a comment. She said Kaitlynn’s mother would release one soon. Mansfield Police Officer Joshua Ellender responded to 85 Ware St. at 4:05 a.m., after the homeowners found a note indicating that Griffin, who had been staying at a mobile home on the property, might harm himself. The friends told police Griffin might be headed to the Chilsom Avenue, home of his former girlfriend and daughter. While driving over to the Chilsom Avenue home, Ellender saw Griffin. Griffin, who was barefoot, said he had been on his way to a 24-hour pharmacy to pick up medications. Bracket said Griffin told police he had taken off his shoes because they had gotten soaked in the rain. Ellender offered Griffin a ride back to the Ware Street house. At the same time, the Ware Street homeowners told police about a second note that indicated Griffin might hurt his child. Ellender shined his flashlight in Griffin’s face and asked if he had hurt his daughter. Bracket said Griffin told police he had. “Yes. She’s gone. I had to save her. I killed my little girl,’” Bracket recounted. Bracket said in subsequent interviews with investigators that Griffin said, “God told me to do it.” Griffin has a history of mental illness. Earlier this month, he spent the night at Sturdy Hospital shortly after splitting up with Kaitlynn’s mother, Bracket said. She said he had at least one other previous hospital stay that spanned two weeks in October 2006. Krowski said that history would be critical to the case, which he described as “very, very intense.” Griffin does not have a history of violence, O’Neill said. O’Neill said the murder is still under investigation by his department, as well as detectives from the District Attorney’s office and the state police. Griffin, who is being held without bail, is due back in Attleboro District Court on Aug. 12. Mansfield News writer Lauren DeFilippo can be reached at email@example.com.