Former professional football player Forrest Grigg says he watched his son become a victim of drugs until, out of love, he killed him.
This week, after a jury could not agree on a murder conviction, Grigg pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter and was sentenced to five years on probation.
Grigg, who played for the Cleveland Browns in the 1950s and is not to be confused with Forrest Gregg, who played for the Green Bay Packers, was charged with shooting to death his son, Mike, 20, Oct. 31 in this East Texas town of 1,000. Grigg's lawyer had entered a plea of innocent by reason of insanity.
Testimony presented Grigg as a man tortured as he saw his son, a high school athlete, turn to drugs and become a dropout who could not hold a job.
"Sure I regret what I did," Grigg said after the trail, "but I am still relieved that he is relieved. He is not on more pressure."
A family friend, Conrad Coppedge, testified that before the shooting he had found Grigg pacing the floor and crying, and had gone with him to the site of a minor traffic accident involving the younger Grigg.
"I loved him," Grigg said. "He was my pride and joy. Everybody loved him. He was not a drug addict. He would sometimes go a week at a time without using drugs. I thought I'd get him straight, and then he'd go off again."