Transcript: Likely suspect named in murder of Allison Griffor

Allison Griffor (provided)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Court transcripts suggest authorities may have found the man who fired into the front door of a West Ashley home, killing a 5-year-old girl.

During a plea hearing for Devoun Bennett in a Dogwood Road burglary case, Ninth Circuit Chief Deputy Solicitor Bruce Durant named a potential suspect in Griffor's murder. The story was initially broke by the Post and Courier on Wednesday.

"He (the robbery victim) indicated he did not report it at first because he was scared to come forward, but when he learned of the five-year-old girl, Allison Griffor, being killed on the 25th he came forward because it was very similar, in terms of a shotgun was used to kill the little girl, and he was concerned that these folks may have been the same ones," Durant said.

According to the State Law Enforcement Division, 24-year-old Phillip Moses was arrested by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office for armed robbery, first-degree burglary and having a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

The Dogwood Road home invasion, for which Moses is a codefendant, also involved a shotgun.

"Phillip Moses was the one that, you know, that was indicated had the shotgun in this case, but it also turned out that Phillip Moses was stopped in a car like ten minutes away from where this little girl had been shot three days after that, and so we believe that -- that Mr. Moses was involved in the Griffor case," Durant said, according to court transcripts. {}

When asked for independent confirmation, the Solicitor Durant sent the following response:

"Our Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit us from making any extra-judicial statements concerning matters pending in the office and, therefore, I must respectfully decline to make any further comment on the subject."

According to the court transcripts, Bennett was offered a deal for information on Moses and the Griffor case, but declined because he was afraid for his life.

"He also implicated Phillip Moses who was a suspect in the Griffer shooting, and Levelle Grant, as his accomplices in this home invasion," Durant said according to the court transcript. "It was our hope that he was going to cooperate with us against those folks. He ended up recanting that statement."

No charges had been filed in the death of Allison Griffor as of Thursday afternoon.


Long road for Griffor family since October 2011

It's been almost a year and a half since five-year-old Allison Griffor was killed in her own bed by shots fired through her family's front door.

The Griffor family was awakened during the early-morning hours of Oct. 25, 2011 by the gunfire ripping through their West Ashley home. Three days later, Allison died at Medical University Hospital from her injuries.

A year later, investigators with the sheriff's office had confidence, but few leads in the case.

Sheriff Al Cannon said investigators were looking at two nearby crimes and working to determine if there's a connection to the child's shooting, a reported drug bust on Catterton Drive and a home break-in on Dogwood Road.

The victims of the Dogwood Road home invasion called investigators in the Allison Griffor case after they saw similarities between the two incidents.

In that case, investigators arrested Bennett and charged him with first degree burglary, armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.

Cannon said at the time of Allison's death, arrests were made in other robberies near her home on Pierpont Avenue. Investigators still say the Griffor's house was incorrectly targeted, possibly for drugs.

"We're going to find the scum bag who did this to this little girl, and we'll do whatever it takes," Cannon said.

But at the time, detectives were still dependent on some critical information they didn't have. The murder weapon was never found, but Cannon said it was likely a 12-gauge shotgun.

Now it appears information released in a Charleston courtroom may have pushed the case closer to being solved.