The Union County Prosecutor’s Office
32 Rahway Avenue   Elizabeth, NJ 07202
Theodore J. Romankow

June 22, 2010

Contact: John Holl
(908) 527-4621

Bloods Member Found Guilty of Murder


Last Week a Union County Jury found a verified member of the Bloods Street Gang guilty of Murder, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, announced Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.

According to the investigation Abdul Batin Griggs DOB: 12/8/72 of Elizabeth shot the victim, John Zepherin, twice in the back on August 3, 2006.  The Crime occurred outside of Oakwood Housing Complex in Elizabeth at just before 11:00 a.m., said Assistant Prosecutor Michael Henn, who prosecuted the case. The victim died on August 8, 2006 from his injuries.

Griggs was arrested a short time later and while in jail awaiting the homicide trial,  he was convicted of Bribery and Conspiracy to commit Bribery.  That case was handled by Assistant Prosecutor William Kolano of the Special Prosecutions Unit.

This was the second time Griggs was tried for the homicide of Zepherin, said Henn. The first trial ended on May 4, 2010 with a hung jury after several days of deliberations.

The current trial started on June 8, 2010 and ended on June 18. The jury deliberated for a total of about three hours. After that trial, a second “mini-trial” was held and the Griggs was convicted by the same jury of the Charge of Certain Person’s not to have a Weapon, said Henn.

Griggs faces 30 to Life on the Murder conviction when he is sentenced by Judge Scott J. Moynihan on September 17, 2010.

“He is clearly a menace to society, and if past behavior is any predictor of future acts, lives will be saved by his continued incarceration,” said Henn.