Two guilty pleas resolve double homicide case in Limestone County

Limestone County Jail
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 4:04pm

A couple convicted for their roles in the slayings of two Mart residents are both headed to prison. On September 11, 2011, Limestone County deputies were called to a grisly scene off County Road 318. They discovered the bodies of Pam Lykins and Jeff Summers lying in the ditch, dead from stab wounds. Investigation led to the charges of capital murder against Katherine Walker (Griffith) and Charles Griffith.

According to police reports, on the evening before their bodies were found Lykins and Summers were seen at the Prairie Hill dragstrip with Walker and Griffith. Family members said the two couples were friends. After the report of the murders, a search for Summers’ missing truck led police to Grand Prairie Texas, where Griffith and Walker had abandoned the vehicle a short distance from the motel where they were both arrested. Griffith soon confessed to killing both victims. Both were indicted by a Limestone County grand jury.

Shortly after their arrests, Griffith and Walker wed while in custody in the Limestone County jail.

On October 5, 2012, Katherine Walker, who is 38, entered a plea of guilty to the offense of aggravated robbery while using a deadly weapon before Judge Deborah Evans of the 87th Judicial District Court. She received a sentence of 30 years in prison. “As Mr. Griffith claims to have killed both victims, the case against Ms. Walker was going to be the more difficult of the two,” said Limestone County District Attorney Roy DeFriend. “Mere presence at a crime scene is not enough to convict someone of murder. But for her level of participation, we believe the sentence satisfied the ends of justice.” Since a deadly weapon was used, she will not be eligible for parole until half her sentence is served.

On Tuesday, October 16, Charles Griffith pleaded guilty to murder before Judge Patrick Simmons of the 77th Judicial District Court.  “The way the parole law applies to Griffith, a 60 year sentence is equivalent to a life sentence,” said DeFriend. “Regardless of whether you get 60 years, 99 years, or life, you become eligible for parole after 30 years in prison. Under the facts of this case and after consulting with the family, we felt the 60 year sentence--which amounts to a life sentence for Griffith, who is 40 years old--would be proper protection for our community, and justice for the victims.”

“If you harm someone in our community, you forfeit your freedom,”said DeFriend. “After consultation with the victims’ family, they were in agreement with the plea.  The family has endured enough grief and pain. Mr. Griffith will be off the streets for the rest of his life, and the victims’ family did not have to endure the rigors of a criminal trial for either of the defendants. Both defendants have also waived appeal.”

County Attorney Roy DeFriend, Assistant County Attorney Brody Burks and Assistant Attorney General Wes Mau prosecuted the cases. Walker was represented by David Moore of Groesbeck. Griffith was represented by Groesbeck attorneys Shirley Spivey and Michelle Latray. Because a deadly weapon (knife) was used, each defendant will have to serve at least half of his or her sentence before becoming eligible for parole. Eligibility for parole does not mean parole will be granted.

“The two violent criminals who committed these heinous acts are behind bars, and will be for a long time,” said DeFriend. “A big thank you to the Limestone County Sheriff’s Department, the Department of Public Safety Crime Lab, Texas Rangers, Grand Prairie Police Department and all the law enforcement officers involved with this case who make our streets safer.”

Information from Limestone County Police.

(Limestone County Jail)

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