NORFOLK, Va. – Court records show the civilian the Navy says killed a sailor aboard a ship in Virginia once faced a murder charge in North Carolina but ended up pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was out of prison less than two years later.
Jeffrey Savage was charged in the 2005 shooting death of Maurice Griffin in Charlotte. They were driving from Georgia to Virginia when they fought over a gun. Savage shot Griffin and left his body on the roadside.
Court records say prosecutors planned to seek the death penalty against him if he didn't settle the case with a guilty plea. Savage entered a guilty plea in 2008 and was released from prison at the end of 2009.
Including jail, he was behind bars less than six years.