Family of slain woman won’t have to ‘relive her death’ with a trial

Escobar was brutally murdered in 2011. The man police say killed her is already serving a life sentence, and family members say a trial would be agonizing and unnecessary.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — One week after KXAN News spoke to the father of a woman who was brutally murdered in 2011, the Travis County District Attorney’s Office says they won’t be seeking a trial against the suspect after all.

Willie Griffin, 50, is accused of stabbing 24-year-old Elizabeth Escobar and setting her body on fire in a field in East Travis County. Griffin, who was convicted of rape and attempted murder of a 17-year-old girl in 2014 in Hays County, is currently serving six life sentences in prison. Austin police say DNA evidence in the Hays County case linked Griffin to Escobar’s murder.

Escobar’s father, Alan Scarborough, says their family has been trying to get the prosecutors to waive a trial against Griffin because the family can’t go through the pain of a trial. “We want Willie Griffin to go away forever, but we don’t want to be defined by him, and we don’t see the need to go through all the expenses of a trial,” said Scarborough to KXAN News Reporter Amanda Brandeis. “Why try a guy that’s already got six life terms and is never going to see the light of day? We have no desire to relieve her death.”

On Monday, Assistant District Attorney Joe Frederick says the Travis County case against Griffin has been dismissed. “This was done after consulting with the victim’s immediate and extended family members who agreed with this decision,” said Frederick in a statement.

Scarborough sent the following statement to KXAN Monday:

The family is happy be able to put the horrors of her death behind us. Elizabeth the daughter, sister and mother will forever be missed along with the light, love and laughter she brought to all those roles. We are thankful to the many heroes we have encountered along the way, from detective Alan Howard who solved the case, to the victim in Hays Country who first identified the perpetrator and brought about his capture, to the jury that put him away and threw away the key and to KXAN for the kind and compassionate media support, never forgetting about our beloved Elizabeth.

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