A Gainesville couple’s argument led to murder charges Friday following a June 13 incident outside their West Avenue house.
Pamela Ann Porter and her live-in boyfriend Rodney Griffith, both 48, often argued, according to a neighbor. On Wednesday, Griffith died from stab wounds, and the Gainesville Police Department obtained a warrant for Porter, already in jail on aggravated assault charges in connection with the incident.
Luis Gutierrez, 34, lives across a small concrete parking lot in the 700 block of West Avenue where police said Griffith lived with Porter. He said he was getting ready to go to a party when his girlfriend asked him to check on the yelling from next door.
“(Porter) was standing over him,” he said. “He was already unconscious when I got out there. He was facedown on the concrete, and he was actually bleeding pretty bad.”
Police responded that night to the reported assault and found Griffith outside the residence, unresponsive and with apparent stab wounds to the upper torso.
Gutierrez said it looked as though Porter was trying to get Griffith on his feet, although to no avail. The neighbor said he never saw Griffith regain consciousness before emergency medical personnel transported him to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in critical condition.
Porter was initially charged with aggravated assault, and the murder charge was added when Griffith died, police spokesman Joe Britte said Friday.
The couple could often be heard arguing, Gutierrez said, and Porter periodically locked Griffith out.
“Every weekend — sometimes she would leave him outside and he would knock on that door for hours,” he said. “Until 3, 4 in the morning he’d be out there knocking on the door.”
Gutierrez said he had observed that night what he suspected was alcohol on Porter.
“I’m not sure, but she looked like she already had a few drinks. And we had seen her drunk on many occasions,” he said.
The incident report indicated “substance abuse” was involved, listing alcohol as being used by both Porter and Griffith.
Court records showed Griffith was last formally charged in 2012 with a DUI, which was later dropped. He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for a 2006 incident, and a 2005 incident in which police described Griffith as being “extremely intoxicated.”
Porter did not have a prior felony record in Hall County.
Gutierrez said she seemed “friendly.”
“She would come out here sometimes and talk to us,” he said. “She seemed like a friendly type.”
Gutierrez said it wasn’t the first time, though, that an altercation had prompted a police response.
“On a few occasions they actually took him, arrested him for whatever reason, and then a few days later he would be back,” he said.
Despite the visible severity of Griffith’s injuries, Gutierrez said his death came as a surprise. He had expected that Griffith would be back knocking on the door at some point.
“It all happened so quick,” he said. “I didn’t figure it would be that bad. I thought he would probably be patched up.”
Porter is being held in the Hall County Jail, awaiting first appearance in Magistrate Court. She had previously waived a probable cause hearing on the aggravated assault charge after her June 13 arrest.