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Monday, 15 July 2019 13:45

Man Convicted in Murder of Pawnshop Owner

July 15, 2019 – A South Memphis man has been convicted of first-degree murder in the 2013 shooting death of a pawnshop owner on Lamar, said Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich.
After the jury verdict Saturday, defendant Charles Griffen, 35, was sentenced to life in prison by Criminal Court Judge Chris Craft.
The victim, Virak Hean, 56, was working at the Lamar Jewelry and Pawn in the 2300 block of Lamar Ave. on the morning of Dec. 18, 2013, when Griffen walked in with a red bag over his shoulder and shot the owner twice in the chest, an investigation showed. The incident was captured on store surveillance.
Griffen ran from the store and escaped in a waiting red four-door Pontiac Grand Am which also was shown on the surveillance camera footage. The case was delayed over several years because of legal issues.
The driver of the vehicle was later arrested and identified as Christopher Woodland, 28, who is awaiting trial on charges of murder and tampering with evidence. Investigators said Woodland shared in the proceeds of the murder, burned the Pontiac and also destroyed other evidence.
The trial last week was handled by Chief Prosecutor Karen Cook and Asst. Dist. Atty. Abby Wallace of the DA’s Special Prosecution Unit which seeks maximum sentencing for repeat felony offenders.