Commonwealth v. Zorobabel Matthan Griggs; Man Sentenced to 22 Years in Prison for Fatal Shooting

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth's Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced that Zorobabel Matthan Griggs, age 44, pled guilty and was sentenced for charges of Second Degree Murder, Use of a Firearm, and Possession of a Firearm by a Violent Felon.  In accordance with a plea agreement, Circuit Court Judge Glenn R. Croshaw sentenced Griggs to fifty (50) years in prison with 28 years suspended, leaving 22 years to serve.

Had this matter gone to trial, the Commonwealth's evidence would have proven that on June 11, 2017, Zorobabel Griggs was with Keisa Overby Staton, the victim, in an apartment on Gourmet Way in Virginia Beach.  Griggs and the victim were seen on security footage walking up the apartment at 9:34 p.m. on June 10, 2017.  Griggs was seen coming down the stairs by himself the next morning at 7:23 a.m., with his hand in his pocket trying to conceal an item.  Staton was never seen on camera again.  Staton was later discovered in the apartment, fatally shot with a .40 caliber bullet. 

After the homicide, Griggs walked to a nearby 7-Eleven.  This was later found to be captured on surveillance footage from the store.  He had a shirt wrapped around an object in his hand.  Police learned that Griggs called his mother, walked to a relative's house nearby, and then asked the relative to drive him to his mother's house.  He confessed to his mother that he killed Staton.  The relative overheard Griggs' confession.  During an interview with police, both Griggs' mother and the other relative confirmed Griggs' confession.  Griggs' mother then took him to her church in Norfolk, where the pastor ultimately urged Griggs' mother to call 911. She did so, and attempted to direct police to the apartment complex where they could locate the victim.  She also provided Griggs' cell phone number.  Griggs did not answer or hung up several times when dispatch attempted to reach him. 

Cell phone records indicated Griggs left the area.  Eleven (11) days later, Griggs called a detective with the Virginia Beach Police Department and told him he would like to turn himself in.  He stated that he did not wish to speak about the incident, but that he had thrown the gun off the Campostella Bridge.

Investigators learned that Staton, accompanied by Griggs, purchased a .40 caliber handgun at Chesapeake Pawn just weeks prior.  During that transaction, Griggs stood away from the point of sale, and Staton left the counter and asked him several questions during the purchase. Griggs was further linked to the crime through cell phone records and Google location services, which placed him in the apartment on the day of the homicide. 

Griggs has prior convictions for Attempted Robbery, Use of a Firearm, Possession of Schedule I/II Drug, Forgery (2 counts), Sell Schedule III Drug by Prisoner, Conspiracy, Petit Larceny, and Failure to Appear (2 counts). 

Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Tabitha B. Anderson and Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney C. Andrew Rice prosecuted this case. Please contact Macie Allen if additional information is desired.