ELIZABETH — Last week, a Union County jury found a verified member of the Bloods street gang guilty of murder and related charges, Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow announced today.
According to the investigation, Abdul Batin Griggs, 37, of Elizabeth shot the victim, John Zepherin, twice in the back on Aug. 3, 2006. The crime occurred outside of Oakwood Housing Complex in Elizabeth at just before 11 a.m., said Assistant Prosecutor Michael Henn, who prosecuted the case. Zepherin died on Aug. 8, 2006 from his injuries.
Griggs was arrested a short time later and while in jail awaiting the homicide trial, he was convicted of bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery. This was the second time Griggs was tried for the murder of Zepherin, said Henn. The first trial ended on May 4 with a hung jury after several days of deliberations.
The current trial started on June 8 and ended on June 18. The jury deliberated for a total of about three hours. After that trial, a second “mini-trial” was held and the Griggs was convicted by the same jury on a weapons charge, said Henn.
Griggs faces 30 years to life in prison on the murder conviction when he is sentenced by Judge Scott J. Moynihan on Sept. 17.
“He is clearly a menace to society, and if past behavior is any predictor of future acts, lives will be saved by his continued incarceration,” said Henn.
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