Husband had history of domestic violence before murder-suicide

By Elizabeth Donatelli - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The coroner's office tells WAVE 3 the deaths of a Jefferson County couple were actually a murder-suicide with the husband pulling the trigger and that man has a history of domestic violence.

Court records show that 49-year-old Terrance Griffaw's ex-wife had taken out at least two emergency protection orders against him. The first was issued in 1999 in Marion County and the second four years later in Jefferson County in 2003.

The report shows he was arrested for assault in the fourth degree. The victim told police he had been drinking and got angry when she couldn't find the ATM card. He grabbed her arm and kicked her feet from under her. The report read the "victim's right elbow was swollen and she complained of pain." The two were going through a divorce. He eventually pleaded guilty.

WAVE 3 did not find any documentation that there was a history of violence between Terrance Griffaw and his current wife 50-year-old Debra, only that they were facing foreclosure.

Police told WAVE 3 their son found them dead inside of their home on Silverton Lane in eastern Jefferson County on teh morning of Dec. 5. The Coroner's Office called it a murder-suicide. Terrance Griffaw shot his wife in the head and then turned the gun on himself.

A neighbor said the couple worked the overnight shift at Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant. The union reps confirmed there was a grief counselor at work on Monday.

"You work with somebody everyday and you don't expect things like this to happen, so there's a somber mood in there and you just don't really know what to say," said Ford UAW Local 862 president Rocky Comito. "It's terrible."

Local 862 vice president Todd Dunn said he has worked with both the husband and wife.

"They were good people," said Dunn. "They were like anybody at the plant, hard workers, came to work, wanted to get their check at the end of the week."

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