Court Gavel

Jurors returned mixed verdicts in two trials during this month's January term in Washington County Court.

Nathaniel Kevin Griffin Jr., 27, of Canonsburg, was convicted of aggravated assault, strangulation and unlawful restraint.

Griffin was acquitted of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, one count of rape by forcible compulsion and a count of rape of an unconscious victim, who was a former co-worker. 

The victim said Griffin choked her and wrapped an extension cord around her neck in May 2018.

The verdict was rendered Jan. 10. At the conclusion of the trial, Judge Valarie Costanzo ruled that Griffin poses a danger to the community and revoked his bail. She ordered that he be jailed pending his sentencing, which is scheduled for late March. 

Assistant District Attorney John Friedmann prosecuted the case, and Jacob Mihalov, assistant public defender, represented Griffin.

In a verdict announced Wednesday, Randon Lee Watts, 35, of Meadow Lands, was found not guilty of aggravated assault, a first-degree felony. 

The jury, however, found him guilty of simple assault and recklessly endangering another person, misdemeanor charges.

A summary charge of harassment fell within the jurisdiction of Costanzo, who found Watts not guilty. 

Watts and the victim had been drinking together at the victim's home before the June 2018 episode. 

Assistant District Attorney Kevin Scheibel was the prosecutor, and Assistant Public Defender Adam Yarussi represented Watts, iwho is free on bond. His sentencing is scheduled for early April, according to an online docket. 

Canonsburg police filed charges against both defendants.

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