The jury of eight officers found a soldier held at Fort Leavenworth guilty in court martial proceedings Thursday of murdering a man at an area lake.
According to Fort Leavenworth officials, the jury deliberated for three hours before announcing that Spc. Justin Cannon, 22, was guilty of the murder without premeditation of Michael Griggs, 24, at Truman Lake near Lowry City, Mo. Griggs' body was said to have been found floating in Truman Lake Aug. 1, 2011.
Having been granted emergency leave following the notification of the death of his wife, Amber, Cannon had returned to Peculiar, Mo., from Fort Benning, Ga., where he was enrolled in Airborne School. On July 28, he attended a camp out at Truman Lake with a group of people that included Griggs. The victim was reported missing the next morning and found the next day.
About a year later, in late August 2012, Cannon was charged by the government with taking absence without leave, premeditated murder and two counts of wrongfully impeding an investigation, all alleged violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The maximum sentence was life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The absence without leave and impeding an investigation chargers were both dismissed during the court martial and the charge of murder was changed to the less-severe murder without premeditation.
For his violations, Cannon was sentenced to a reduction in rank to private/E1, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, a dishonorable discharge and 50 years confinement with the possibility of parole.
According to information from Fort Leavenworth, the case will be automatically forwarded to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals for an independent appellate review.