Man with Extensive Criminal Record Sent Back to Prison
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Sentenced to Two More Years in Prison Five Months After Starting Supervised Release
A Cedar Rapids man with an extensive criminal history, who was released from federal prison in October 2018 after having served nearly 18 years, was sentenced March 19, 2019, to serve an additional two years in prison.
Andre Tyrone Griffith, age 44, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the prison term after the court found he violated several conditions of his supervised release.
In December 2018, while on supervised release, Griffith was found to have illegally used marijuana and was ordered to serve two weekends in jail. At a hearing held in federal court on March 19, 2019, Griffith admitted he again violated the conditions of his supervised release by: interacting with a person engaged in criminal activity; failing to participate in drug abuse testing as ordered by the court; failing to follow his probation officer’s instructions; failing to report as directed by his probation officer; and by again unlawfully using marijuana. In addition, the court found Griffith had possessed a dangerous weapon and committed new violations of law by assaulting his girlfriend and preventing her from leaving her apartment or calling for help in the course of the assault.
Evidence presented at the hearing showed that on February 12, 2019, Griffith entered the residence of his girlfriend and became upset when she expressed displeasure with Griffith’s recent behavior. Griffith then began to choke his girlfriend, pulled her hair, hit her in the chest, and knocked her across the room onto a couch where he then sat on top of her. When the girlfriend attempted to use her cell phone to call for help, Griffith took the phone from her and covered her mouth to prevent her from screaming for help. At a later point during the encounter, Griffith held a butcher knife to his own throat, causing the girlfriend to fear that Griffith may turn the knife on her. After about two and a half hours, Griffith agreed to call a felon friend of his to take his girlfriend to the hospital. However, before allowing the girlfriend to be taken to the hospital, Griffith demanded she write him a check or give him something valuable to be held as insurance that the woman would not report his conduct to his probation officer.
On February 19, 2019, Griffith was charged in Iowa District Court in and for Linn County with one count of assault causing bodily injury (domestic abuse) (strangulation) and one count of obstruction of emergency communications. A no contact order was filed on February 23, 2019. The state charges remain pending.
Griffith was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge Linda R. Reade. Griffith was sentenced to serve two years imprisonment, the maximum sentence the court could impose. The court also ordered that the sentence should be served consecutive to any sentence imposed in Iowa District Court.
In sentencing Griffith, Judge Reade noted she fully credited the victim’s account of the assault and having been prevented from leaving her apartment or seeking medical assistance for more than two and half hours. Judge Reade found that Griffith’s conduct was “outrageous” and that no one had a right to engage in such conduct. Judge Reade noted Griffith had an extensive criminal record. Griffith’s criminal record includes multiple burglary convictions, prior assaults, and other violent conduct, including an assault on a woman with whom he had cohabitated that included striking the woman and grabbing her by the throat, and had 22 disciplinary reports while in prison. The court also found that Griffith violated the terms of his supervision by associating with at least five convicted felons without permission, and that the sentence imposed was justified by all of Griffith’s violations of supervision, not just the assault of his girlfriend.
Griffith is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Richard L. Murphy.
Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.
The case file number is CR 01-04.
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Updated March 25, 2019