Life without parole for Kingston killers

KINGSTON — Convicted murderers Trevor “Little T” Mattis and Gary “G-Money” Griffin were sentenced to life in prison without parole on Friday during a sometimes-chaotic proceeding marked by the killers’ numerous outbursts and one of them being dragged from the courtroom after swearing at the judge.

The two were taken immediately after their sentencing to the Downstate Correctional Facility in Fishkill, where they will be processed into the state prison system.

Mattis, 23, and Griffin, 30, were convicted on April 15 of first-degree murder for the February 2010 gangland slaying of 21-year-old Charles “C.J.” King Jr. on Cedar Street in Midtown Kingston. Authorities said Mattis shot King in the head, execution-style, with a gun supplied by Griffin as retaliation for King testifying against Mattis’ brother in a previous Kingston shooting case.

In sentencing Mattis and Griffin — said by authorities to be members of a Bloods-related gang called Sex Money Murder — Ulster County Judge Donald A. Williams said he wanted to send a “clear and unequivocal and resounding message” that gang violence will not be tolerated in Ulster County.

Williams told Mattis he would have sentenced him to death if capital punishment still was on the books in New York.

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I didn't follow this case too closely, but it does leave a bad taste in my mouth. First of all, I don't see how it is justice, or how someone can be called a murderer, simply for providing a gun to someone else who pulls the trigger and actually commits a murder. I know that the law has been twisted these days to make it that way "legally" but I still don't go for it. Even if his accomplice was standing right there next to him, I still can't see why he should not have been given 25-to-life for his role, a token less than the actual killer. And even then, only if it could be PROVEN that the accomplice did in fact knowingly conspire to commit murder, rather than just happened to be there when the other man decided to pull the trigger.

Now, point two I would like to point out here, is that the one defendant appears to have a legit gripe about how unfair the trial was, and if I were a judge, I would see it as grounds for an appeal without question.

Mattis accused (Prosecutor) Carnright of having a “super conflict of interest” because Carnright, when he worked as a public defender, represented a co-defendant of Mattis’ in a prior case in which Mattis was convicted of robbery and sent to prison.

“Carnright knew I was innocent, he knew that,” Mattis said. “It’s the same thing he did this time. This man right here knew we were innocent.”
To the judge, he (Griffin) said, “I have got no justice, especially from you, your honor, who were supposed to referee but instead played prosecutor.”

I think he is right. The judge never should have allowed such a conflict of interest in his courtroom. These two men may in fact be guilty in the death of the victim, but I do not see this as a victory for justice in any way.

Meanwhile, in other news today, we see that a police officer can commit a cold-blooded murder on video, and all he gets is a 30-day suspension...


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