March 24, 2010
A Nelson County judge determined there's enough probable cause to move forward with the trial of two suspects linked to the murder of a 73-year-old woman.
Christopher Meeks, 18, and Austin Griffin, 20, will face separate but simultaneous trials for the murder of Opal Page, a retired teacher's aide found dead in her home last year.
Both are charged with first-degree murder in Page's stabbing. Both Meeks and Griffin told investigators that they had been inside Page's home the night she was murdered, but each had different stories about what happened after that.
Witnesses for the prosecution said Meeks admitted to breaking into Page's house by breaking her window with a fire extinguisher and unlocking the door, but he told investigators he never stabbed Page.
The autopsy showed Page was stabbed 26 times.
A bloody palm print was found on the kitchen table, but Meeks said the blood was from breaking the window. Meeks told investigators that Griffin did the fatal stabbing. Griffin said it was Meeks' idea to break into the house and that Meeks stabbed Page to death.
Griffin also told investigators where the knife was. They found it near an apartment complex where Meeks' mother lives in Waynesboro.
Both men admitted to stealing Page's car, which was later found in Waynesboro.
Today, Page's home is calm, and there's no sign of the violent struggle that took place nearly a year ago in May 2009. Neighbors said Page has two sons who are taking care of the house and her belongings. They did not attend Wednesday's preliminary hearing.
Meeks' parents attended the hearing, however, in support of their son. Meeks' mother said she is praying for the victim's family and held back tears throughout the hearing.
Their cases go before a grand jury May 25th.