The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Advertisement
The Northgate district right adjacent to the Texas A&M campus houses a street of bars and other restaurants.  
Programs look to combat drunk driving
Alexia Serrata, JOUR 203 contributor • May 10, 2024
Advertisement
The Aggies react after clinching the national championship after Texas A&M’s win against Georgia at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship Game in Greenwood Tennis Center in Stillwater, Oklahoma on Sunday, May 19, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Aggies ace it, Bulldogs face it
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 20, 2024

The No. 13 Texas A&M women's tennis team took on No. 7 Georgia and served up a score of 4-1 to clinch its newest title: NCAA Champions.  The...

Advertisement
Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Advertisement
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Former cadet faces three-year sentence

Michael Edwin Griffin, Class of 2003 and former student commander of the Parsons Mounted Cavalry, was sentenced to three years in prison Monday.
Griffin pleaded guilty to killing 1990 A&M graduate and former cadet Jon David Watts in an accident while driving under the influence on Earl Rudder Freeway North on Aug. 30, 2003.
“I am very sad to see a fine young man … who obviously has a lot going for him, have to go to the penitentiary,” said Travis Bryan, Griffin’s attorney. “But society is requiring this kind of price in these kinds of cases, so he really had no option.”
Watts’ family attorney Brian Baker said he is satisfied with the three-year sentence.
Baker said the defense was looking for probation in the beginning, and that he was not willing to accept anything less than the penitentiary.
“For myself and the DA’s office, the message has to get clear and through,” Baker said. “(It) doesn’t matter if you’re a great kid with a great upbringing and never done anything wrong. If you decide to get behind the wheel of the car (while intoxicated), you are going to go to the penitentiary.”
Griffin’s criminal record prior to the accident merely consisted of a ticket, Baker said.
“Michael Griffin is not your standard person going to the penitentiary,” Baker said. “As far as I can find, he is a good kid with a great upbringing … (who) decided that he would get behind the wheel that night drunk.”
Bryan said Griffin is pleased with the sentence.
“In a way, (he) feels like he needs to serve this time after what has happened,” Bryan said.
As part of the plea bargain, Griffin has to pay for a full-page advertisement in The Battalion. The ad will include a letter written by Griffin, a picture of the accident scene and a picture of Watts, Bryan said.
Baker said he saw an opportunity in the fact that the victim and the defendant were Aggies.
“At least the students can relate to those two individuals,” Baker said.
Bryan said he does not believe the ad will have much effect on the students.
“Kids are going to party, kids are going to get drunk, kids are going to kill people,” Bryan said.
Senior recreation, park, and tourism sciences major Adam Solis said he did not take drinking and driving seriously until he was with his friend when his friend got a DWI.
“Before that, I was one of those who thought ‘nothing can happen to me,'” Solis said.
Solis said he now makes sure he has a safe ride home each time he goes out drinking, but that that does not necessarily mean the driver did not drink at all.
Solis said students have a feeling of invincibility, and that until something happens to them or people close to them, they won’t change their minds.
“I hate for a bunch of people to be out like I used to be,” Solis said. “I used to have no worries in the world. I thought I could get away with anything.”
Griffin will turn himself in on Dec. 6 and begin serving his sentence. The penitentiary where he will serve has not yet been named.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *