Corpus Delicti: Dead Body Rolls Out of Mortuary Van Carjacked By Fleeing Felon

Police say that Griffin stole the mortuary van in his attempt to escape pursuing police. As he hit the gas, a body on a gurney rolled out of the open back hatch and into the parking lot. In the police chase that followed, he hit multiple vehicles on I-20 until a tire blew on the van. He then ran into the wood line and escaped.

He is charged with entering an auto, motor vehicle theft and fleeing and attempting to elude police. The question is whether the dead body will be addressed in a charge.  There is an interesting twist on that issue. Under the state law for “abuse of dead body” (O.C.G.A. 31-21-44.1 (2010) 31-21-44.1), the crime is defined as:

(a) (1) A person commits the offense of abuse of a dead body if, prior to interment and except as otherwise authorized by law, such person willfully defaces a dead body while the dead body is lying in state or is prepared for burial, showing, or cremation whether in a funeral establishment, place of worship, home, or other facility for lying in state or at a grave site. The lawful presence of the offender at a place where the dead body is abused shall not be a defense to a prosecution under this Code section.

Notably, the crime refers to a body “prior to interment” but requires defacing and also specifies “a funeral establishment, place of worship, home, or other facility for lying in state or at a grave site.” Grabbing a van in a parking lot may not qualify, particularly since the corpse simply rolled into the parking lot.

I expect additional charges but prosecutors may decide to ignore the corpus delicti in the parking lot on this particular crime.

18 thoughts on “Corpus Delicti: Dead Body Rolls Out of Mortuary Van Carjacked By Fleeing Felon”

  1. Jonathan: I thought I may have been a little overly harsh when I accused you of racism in posting the mug shot of the Black man who stuffed a woman’s body in a 55 gal. drum. It could have been a one-off unrelated to race. But with this post with a mug shot of another Black man accused of stealing a mortuary van it is pretty clear who you think are committing most of the serious crimes.

    White commentators often cite the fact that while Blacks make up about 13-15 percent of the population they commit 50% of the homicides. This ignores centuries of racial oppression. Young Black men are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the same opportunities as whites–so they resort to crime. And they are more likely to be badly treated by the criminal justice system. See, e.g., Gorge Floyd. They are more frequently subject to traffic stops, searches and arrest for minor violations. Just ask South Carolina Senator Tim Scott who knows all about “DWB”. He says he has been repeatedly pulled over by police who who seemed suspicious of a Black man driving a nice car. I have a Black friend who actually traded in his late model Porsche for a less suspicious mini-van because he was continuously stopped by police going to and coming from work. After the murder of George Floyd a NY Times study found that Blacks made up 19% of the Minneapolis population but were at the receiving end of 50% of the police department’s use-of-force incidents. But if you say there is “systematic racism” in police practices expect a visceral response from many whites. You are contributing to racist tropes about Black people with these two posts .I had expected more from a respected academic. .

    1. Dennis– it is pretty clear who you think are committing most of the serious crimes.”


      Another snide accusation from the Left.

      Dennis, laddie, you need to catch up.

      Per FBI statistics black men, about 7% of the population, commit more than 54% of ALL murders in the country.

      Their proportions are similar for most other crimes.

      So, laddie, who is committing most of the crimes in your untutored opinion?

      I bet you don’t dare answer. It would require squeezing a little dra a truth outa ya.

    2. Dennis , face it your a tool… a leftist…and all you can do is cry. Meanwhile the perp is another minority… apparently you can’t take that one particular minority is responsible for the majority of CRIME in this country. Instead of being like heels up harris and demanding a look into the “root causes” again and again you may want to look into all the welfare and goobermint programs , insultingly bad teachers and schools that allow and let flourish generations of ill educated youth whom only know one thing…they didntdonuffin whilst they rape pillage burn and kill in our cities. It’s that simple – garbage in , garbage out. Wouldn’t matter what race the perp…it’s the environment that is created and nurtured by demorat politicos and the fed god. If you can’t see that forest for the trees there is no help for you.

      1. Phergus — That about sums it up for Dennis.

        As for ‘root causes’ I think many of them would vanish if somebody would just try enforcing the law. How many times do we see arrests like the one here only to discover that the perpetrator has been arrested multiple times and released with little or no punishment by judges and prosecutors who think like Dennis. Of course they commit crimes again.

  2. An Anonymous who is likely a DNC troll carrying water for the excuses now says ” There wasn’t any way for our exit [from Afghanistan] to be anything but a disaster. ”

    He bases that in part on a Boston Herald article by an aging snowflake political writer.

    By contrast, Seth Moulton, Democrat, who says the management of the retreat was a **** disaster served four tours in Afghanistan.

    Whom will you believe, a lard butt in Boston or a veteran with extensive war experience? Anon prefers the lard butt.

    One doesn’t even need military experience to know that in departing a hostile region you first clear your most vulnerable assets [women and children first, anybody?] and sensitive equipment and those who have the means to repel assaults leave last.

    Also, just a thought, you may not want to hand perimeter security to your enemies. “Yo! Nazis! Would you please guard the beach here at Dunkirk while we get into our boats? Thanks very much!”

    Biden is a carrying a sackful of bad karma. Everything he touches is a disaster. The Daily Mail has an explanation–he’s old, senile, stupid, and brain damaged.

    Hard to argue with that.

    Leaving Afghanistan was always going to be a disaster with Biden/Kamala/Pelosi in charge.

    By the way, how’s he doing on the border, Covid, the economy, foreign relations…..?

  3. We had a case some time ago where an ambulance driver rounded a curve sharply causing the rear hatch to fly open and the enclosed gurney to fly out and run down a hill crashing into a telephone pole. You guessed it the gurney was occupied by our very much alive client who was having breathing difficulties. He had lots more after the crash but survived with a bigger bank account than when he started. That’s one for the books.

    1. Sounds like a fun and profitable case. Not hard to prove liability so I imagine there was a settlement. Did screaming as he rolled down in the gurney improve his breathing?

      There have been a few instances where ski patrol guys have been sledding an injured skier strapped in and the sled got away from them. More screaming.

  4. Whenever he died in life someone needs to dig his body out of the grave and dump him on a parking lot.

  5. Another bizarre case! I suspect that enough charges can be laid because of the theft of the van, reckless driving, damage to other vehicles, and fleeing police to satisfy the needs of justice in this case, without specifically mentioning the body. If it simply rolled out of the van and onto the parking lot without further harm, perhaps exiting the van actually helped preserve it, as opposed to possible damage that might have occurred had it remained in the van while the accused went on his spree??

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