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Thursday - June 3, 2004

RALEIGH - United States Attorney Frank D. Whitney announced that JOSEPH DANIEL GRIFFITH, 19, of Glen Allen, Virginia, was indicted by a federal grand jury sitting in Raleigh, N. C., on Wednesday, June 2, 2004. GRIFFITH was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. The maximum sentence for each count is six years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000.00, and a supervised release term of three years.

According to the indictment, on May 23, 2004, at Coquina Beach on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, GRIFFITH knowingly killed Shaun Bates and Norman Griswold:

in the commission of (1) unlawful acts not amounting to a felony, that is driving while impaired and reckless driving, and (2) in the commission in an unlawful manner and without due caution and circumspection of a lawful act which might produce death, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1112.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the National Park Service. Assistant U. S. Attorney Barbara D. Kocher is prosecuting the case for the government. A trial date has not been set.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


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