Man in Norfolk fatal child abuse case found guilty on all counts

Posted at 9:34 AM, Aug 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-21 10:25:03-04

NORFOLK, Va. - A jury of two women and 10 men ruled Friday that Robert Griffis is guilty on all counts in the death of 2-year-old Evalynn Arnold.

Robert Griffis is charged with felony child abuse, felony child neglect and malicious wounding.

Griffis is facing child abuse, child neglect and a malicious wounding charge in Arnold's death. The jury handed down a recommended sentence of 35 years in prison.

In May 2017, Arnold was rushed to the hospital after Griffis reported finding her not breathing in their Norfolk home. At the hospital, Arnold was put on life support and died several days later.

Arnold is the daughter of Destiny Martin, who is engaged to Griffis. The Office of the Norfolk Commonwealth's Attorney said Martin has also been charged.

The Commonwealth claimed Griffis severely abused and injured Arnold. At the hospital she was found with several large bruises on her face, head, back and chest.

They also say she was missing teeth.

The defense claimed Arnold injured herself since she was known to bang her head into walls and against her crib.

The jury was given the case around 4 p.m. Thursday and spent part of Friday deliberating.

Griffis will be formally sentenced on November 2 in Norfolk Circuit Court.