Della Lou Griffin, 53, pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual assault of a child and one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child but asked that a jury determine her sentence. After hearing testimony Wednesday and viewing graphic video evidence, the jury returned a maximum term for each count.
A motion to cumulate the sentences filed by the Bowie County District Attorney’s Office was granted by 202nd District Judge John Tidwell so the sentence of life and four sentences of 20 years will run consecutively. The jury also ordered five maximum $10,000 fines.
A video of John Littleton sexually abusing the girl when she was 14 was played for the jury in which Griffin instructed the girl on what to do and operated the camera. Investigators with the Texas Department of Public Safety found the tape during a search of Littleton’s house in New Boston in April 2018.
Under direct examination by Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards, D.P.S. Special Agent Briscoe Davis testified that Littleton’s house was so filthy that the smell led one of the agents to back out of the residence and throw up in the front yard. Davis said Littleton’s home was littered with trash and human waste.
The tape’s date was established through a news announcement in the background about Lisa Marie Pressley filing for divorce from Michael Jackson. Using the victim’s date of birth and the January 1996 date of the news report, investigators could determine the victim was 14 at the time.
The victim testified under direct examination by First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp that she was 11 when Griffin dressed her in a low cut top and put makeup on her face and took her to meet Littleton at a motel. The girl said Littleton sexually assaulted her for the first time after Griffin said she needed to get ice, left the room and didn’t return until the next day.
The victim said Littleton and Griffin gave her alcohol and drugs and that within a few years she was abusing all types of street drugs and that Griffin regularly acted as her pimp.
Littleton died before his case could be tried but charges were pending. Littleton’s associates, Kenneth Nelson and Charles Garton, are both serving long terms. Nelson is serving five life sentences for human trafficking involving multiple girls and Garton is serving 160 years for sexually abusing a 12-year-old.
Bowie County Assistant Public Defender Clayton Haas represented Griffin.