LAWRENCEVILLE — As his son, sister and parents opened Christmas presents inside, Wolf Griffin stayed outside for about 30 minutes. He entered and exited the home on Evergreen Eve Crossing several times with “a strange look in his eyes.”
He told his stepfather, a Gwinnett County police detective testified Wednesday, that he was “talking to dolls.” All the while, the silver car — the one Peggy Robinson normally used to arrive and depart quickly during custody swaps — remained in the street.
Outside of that, Griffin’s family never saw anything that afternoon in Dacula. Nonetheless, they were sufficiently wary to load themselves and the family dog into a car and head for law enforcement.
Parental intuition, police believe, proved to be terribly accurate.
“(Griffin’s mother) believed he had done something horrible,” Det. Greg Heller said.
Authorities believe Griffin brutally attacked Robinson on the afternoon of Dec. 28, stabbing, cutting and ultimately killing the 61-year-old who loved his young son and acted as an intermediary between him and his estranged ex-girlfriend. Griffin was at the scene when police arrived, answering the front door with “fresh smears of blood” on both arms.
The 35-year-old reportedly confessed before even being questioned.
“I did it, and she’s dead,” Heller testified during Wednesday’s preliminary hearing, echoing what Griffin allegedly told responding officers.
Griffin allegedly said during a taped interview that Robinson “became his ex-girlfriend Cecilia” as he approached her that day, and that since he already had a knife in one hand and a glove on the other he “began to cut her in her throat.” After the primary attack, Robinson “partially awoke” and slumped out of the car.
That, Heller said, prompted Griffin to kick her in the face and stab her several more times.
By the time an old acquaintance was summoned to the house — under the guise of helping repair and move a car — Robinson was laid on a rug and wrapped in a white car cover. Text messages were allegedly swapped between Griffin and the friend the day before Robinson’s murder.
“(Griffin) said he knew something bad was going to happen, that he wanted it to be Cecilia (the mother of his child), and it was supposed to happen inside the garage,” Heller said.
A magistrate judge bound over the murder and aggravated assault charges against Griffin, finding probable cause for the case to proceed on to superior court. Though Wednesday’s proceedings were primarily a fact-finding mission for defense attorney Lawrence Lewis, he began to set the stage for what may be future arguments about Griffin’s mental condition.
The meaning behind Griffin’s alleged “talking to dolls” statement was unclear, and Heller said he wasn’t sure exactly what the defendant meant when he said Robinson “became” his ex-girlfriend.
“As we sit here today, has anybody told you that my client may have mental health problems and has been taking medication for years?” Lewis asked Heller. “Or am I the first one to sort of bring this up?”
The homicide detective said he had hours of interviews to review and was still scheduling sit-downs with members of Griffin’s family.
“Without reviewing everything,” Heller said, “I don’t recall anyone ever telling me that.”
Griffin is being held at the Gwinnett County jail without bond.