March 12, 1979
Houston, Texas
Jeffery Lee Griffin (24) kills 19-year-old David Sobotik and 7-year-old Horacio DeLeon during a robbery

Sobotik was a convenience store manager and his friend DeLeon would often help out around the shop. Griffin attacked both Sobotik and DeLeon during a robbery, stabbing both in and around their hearts 9 times. Griffin then stole approximately $175 (according to later reports; early reports indicated $100 was taken), drove Sobotik and DeLeon’s bodies away from the scene, and returned. He then called police around midnight to report the robbery. The bodies of Sobotik and DeLeon were found the following day in Sobotik’s abandoned car.

Griffin was arrested days later at which point he confessed to killing Sobotik and DeLeon. He claimed “something inside told him to stab them,” and recalled apologizing to DeLeon as he killed the 7-year-old. Griffin also admitted to committing the then-unsolved July 23, 1978 murder of Silvia Mendoza (20); Mendoza had been stabbed 49 times before her body was dumped in a trash bin.

Griffin was convicted of Sobotik’s murder but, because he received a death sentence for the teen’s death, he was not tried for the murder of DeLeon or Mendoza. He was executed by lethal injection on November 19, 1992. His last words were: “I want to say bye to my mom. I love her; my aunt; my fiancé, Regina, in England. I’m going to be free.” Griffin then turned to acknowledge the assistant warden. “You’re a good warden. I’ll see you. I’m ready.”

“Texas Inmate Executed For Murder Of Store Clerk.” Orlando Sentinel. November 20, 1992. Archived:
“Kidnapper-Slayer Executed In Texas.” Deseret News. November 19, 1992. Archived:
“3 Texas Inmates Lose Fed Appeals.” Tyler Courier-Times. February 22, 1988
“Male model held after confessing to 2 murders.” The Galveston Daily News. March 16, 1979
“Bodies Found In Abandoned Car.” Longview Morning Journal. March 14, 1979

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