D.C. Supreme Court Judge Leonard Braman agreed yesterday to postpone the retrial of John Griffin, a Black Muslim who allegedly participated in the 1973 Hanafi murders, until the completion of the trial of Hamaas Abdul Khaalis and his 11 co-defendants. The trial has been scheduled to begin June 27, but will be rescheduled after the current Hanafi trial is over.
Griffin's defense attorney, Dovey J. Roundtree, asked for the delay because she said Griffin feared for the safety of two of his family members who were to appear as witnesses in the case. Roundtree said she was also concerned about the effect on her client's case of massive publicity surrounding the current Hanafi trial, should the two proceedings be heard simultaneously.
Griffin, 32, was found guilty along with four other persons in February, 1974, after he was identified by Amina Khaalis, the daughter of Hamaas Abdul Khaalis, as the man who murdered her 14-month-old child during the 1973 massacre.
A new trial was ordered for Griffin, however, when at a later trial, Amina Khaalis identified another defendant as her child's murderer. That case ended in a mistrial last October after Amina Khaalis left the trial, for medical reasons, during defense questioning, and then refused to return to court.