- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Matthew David Griffiths, 27, of Lusby was sentenced Friday to six years in prison for stabbing a Tiki Bar bouncer last July.
Griffiths was originally arrested in August 2012, and later indicted on charges of first-degree assault, second-degree assault, wearing and carrying a dangerous weapon with intent to injure and disorderly conduct.
After a two-day trial in February, a Calvert County Circuit Court jury convicted Griffiths of first- and second-degree assault. The two remaining charges were dropped before the trial began.
Griffiths was sentenced Friday to 18 years in prison, with all but six years suspended, for the first-degree assault charge. The second-degree assault charge was merged with the first-degree assault charge, and he was given credit for 97 days he has already served in jail. He also was placed on five years of supervised probation upon his release.
During the trial, Solomon Ogle, who worked last summer as a bouncer at the Tiki Bar in Solomons, testified he was working the night of July 3, 2012, and at about 1 a.m. July 4, he noticed two men “wrestling around” in the alleyway between the Tiki Bar and the Grill Sergeant. He said he walked over to the two men and told them to “cut it out” or they would have to leave. The two men broke apart, he said, and he believed the situation to be “squashed.”
Ogle said he then heard someone, later identified as Griffiths, tell him to get out of his friends’ faces because they weren’t doing anything wrong. He testified during the trial he told Griffiths to calm down or he would have to leave. Griffiths continued arguing with him, so Ogle said he told him to leave and started escorting him from the alleyway off Tiki Bar property, but Griffiths allegedly refused to leave.
Ogle testified he then grabbed Griffiths’ arms and started walking him toward the edge of the property, when he felt Griffiths reach into his left pocket and then felt something jabbing his right arm.
Ogle said he did not know he was cut until his arm turned cold and when he looked down he saw he had been “cut severely.” He pushed Griffiths away from him and walked back toward the bar to ask the bartenders to call the police and an ambulance, and Griffiths ran along Charles Street away from the bar, Ogle testified. Ogle was taken to Calvert Memorial Hospital, where he received 33 internal sutures and 68 staples for three deep stab wounds to his right forearm.
Although there were other bouncers and Griffiths’ friends surrounding Ogle and Griffiths, Ogle testified no one else was within 10 feet of them when he was stabbed.
Det. Hawkins with the Calvert Investigative Team, the lead investigator of the case, testified during the trial he interviewed Griffiths at the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office the night of the incident.
Hawkins testified Griffiths told him he did not “commit the crime he was accused of.” He said Griffiths admitted there was an altercation at the Tiki Bar with a bouncer but he was not the one who stabbed him. Griffiths said, Hawkins testified, that he ran away after Ogle said, “I’ve been cut,” because he was afraid someone was cutting people and he did not want to be stabbed. Hawkins said he and other detectives went back to the crime scene several times to search in the grass and in the water for a weapon, but a knife used in the crime was never found.
Hawkins said Griffiths had blood on his T-shirt and right shoe, so those were taken and bagged as evidence and sent to the Maryland State Police forensics lab. MSP forensics lab DNA analyst Leslie Mounkes testified the DNA found on the T-shirt and shoe matched Ogle’s DNA.