A Gem Village man who used a loaded gun to hold up a marijuana dispensary was sentenced Thursday to six years in the Colorado Youthful Offender System.
In a deal worked out with prosecutors, Logan Griffith, 20, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault on a peace officer and aggravated robbery, a Class 3 felony.
Griffith, who was 19 at the time of the robbery, told 6th Judicial Judge Jeffrey Wilson that he was “incredibly sorry” for the harm he caused by robbing Rocky Mountain High on Jan. 31 in Durango with his father, Joe Griffith. His father is set to enter a plea July 30.
“I’m not shying away from my actions,” he said. “I wish that my victims will heal from the crime I’ve caused.”
Assistant District Attorney Reid Stewart said the case had been “difficult for the prosecution,” as armed robbery is a “serious and egregious crime.”
But, he said, on reviewing the evidence, Stewart became convinced that the “strange dynamic between father and son” meant that “even though it was the son holding the gun, I feel that the father is more culpable for the crime.”
Authorities say Joe Griffith posed as a customer at the marijuana dispensary, while Logan, armed with a handgun and wearing a hoodie and ski mask, tied up his father and two clerks before leaving with $3,000 in cash and a substantial amount of marijuana.
If Logan Griffith fails to complete his sentence in the YOS program, he’ll serve 15 years in the Department of Corrections.
Judge Wilson, who considered rejecting the plea agreement outright at the last sentencing hearing, told Griffith his behavior had been “extremely dangerous. You could have easily shot somebody.”
He said the fact that Durango Police Department’s Cpl. Nicholas Stasi and Officer Kathleen O’Toole – the officers who Griffith assaulted during the arrest – endorsed Griffith being sentenced to YOS “carries a lot of weight with me.”
Wilson told Logan Griffith he would have felony convictions on his record for “the rest of your life. Nothing can be done about that at this point.”
Griffith’s sister, Cybelle, 16, urged Wilson to be lenient – saying they were close growing up, and Logan erred only because of the influence of their “horrible” father, who often accused Logan of being a “mama’s boy.”
His mother, Bobbie Kay Griffith, tearfully described her son as a dutiful son and former Boy Scout who loved science and baseball and had once dreamed of enrolling in the military.
“My son regrets the decision that he made committing this crime. He knows right from wrong. I home-schooled him,” she said.
“I shudder to think that a child of mine put another human in harm’s way. He felt obligated to his father – love, honor, trust, obedience – all the qualities that I instilled into Logan became dangerous qualities that put him in peril.”
Public defender John Moran said “this is a parable for all of us who struggle with the role of a father in our life.”
He said he understands why Logan Griffith’s disavowing all accountability for his actions and simply blaming his father might “rub the court the wrong way.”
But, Moran said, Logan Griffith took full responsibility for actions he took as an adult, and he had been forced to acknowledge that his father’s influence landed him “in a courtroom facing felonies.”