Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Columbia, SC: Police: SC man killed girlfriend, left bod

COLUMBIA — Richland County deputies are accusing a South Carolina man of killing his girlfriend and leaving her body in a burning car at an Alpine Road Church.

Darrell Lyrell Griffin, 48, of Columbia is charged with murder in connection to the death of Johnette Pratt, 44. Pratt was found dead in a burned-out car parked at Christian Faith Fellowship Church about 8 p.m. Tuesday. Deputies were called to the car after a parishioner noticed the black Lincoln parked in the church lot for much of the day with the engine running. Deputies found Pratt’s body in the passengers seat.

She died of manual strangulation, Richland County Corner Gary Watts said. She also suffered some burn wounds, Richland County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Curtis Wilson said.

Deputies took Griffin in for questioning Tuesday night. Griffin originally told deputies that he and Pratt were victims of a robbery, but later told deputies that he accidentally strangled her, Wilson said. Griffin is also a suspect in the car fire, Wilson said, but that aspect of the incident is still under investigation

He’s being held at Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, pending a bond hearing. Under state law, suspects charged with murder have to go before a circuit judge before bond can be set.

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