‘Lost his mind:’ 25 years in prison for Milwaukee fugitive accused of beating wife for hours

Archie Griffin

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee man accused in the hours-long beating of his wife in September of 2018 has been sentenced to prison. Prosecutors said he’d been a fugitive for decades at the time of his wife’s death — charged in a 1998 case that involved allegations of abuse against a woman.

Archie Griffin, 40, in January pleaded guilty to three charges filed in September 2018:

  • Mayhem, domestic abuse — infliction of physical pain or injury
  • Aggravated battery, domestic abuse — infliction of physical pain or injury
  • First degree recklessly endangering safety, domestic abuse — infliction of physical pain or injury

Two misdemeanor charges were dismissed by the prosecutor.

In court on Thursday, Feb. 28, Griffin was sentenced to serve 25 years in prison and 17 years extended supervision, with credit for 173 days time served. A restitution hearing was scheduled for April 4.

In two separate cases dating back to June of 1998, Griffin pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor bail jumping and was sentenced Thursday to serve nine months in the House of Correction on each count — to be served concurrently to the other sentence. In 1998, Griffin was accused of punching a woman in the chest, pinching her with a pair of pliers, and biting her. He failed to appear in court, which resulted in warrant being issued for his arrest. He remained a fugitive for approximately 20 years until he was arrested in connection to the death of his wife in September of 2018.

According to a criminal complaint, on Sept. 25, 2018, Griffin called 911 saying he “lost his mind” and his wife was injured after they got into a physical fight.

Officials arrived at the home near 16th and Meinecke and found a 31-year-old woman deceased in a bed.

Investigators observed bruising, lacerations and bite marks on the woman’s chin, thighs, stomach, shoulders and back. Officials said her injuries were consistent with being whipped. The woman also suffered cigarette burns on her backside, arms and legs. Her lips, cheek and neck had marks that appeared to be from a chemical burn.

Investigators determined the woman had been dead for approximately 10 to 12 hours before Griffin called 911. An autopsy revealed her wounds were in different stages of healing. However, an exact cause of death wasn’t immediately determined.

When officials interviewed Griffin, he stated to investigators he believed his wife was cheating on him, which was the cause of the fight. Griffin said he “lost it” and punched the victim in the head and body approximately 15 times and then strangled her, but she never lost consciousness.

Griffin told investigators he kicked the victim in the head, arms and neck about five times before hitting her with a wooden leg from a chair. He admitted to whipping the victim with a phone cord, biting her on both shoulders and burning her with cigarettes on her stomach, vaginal area and other places on her body.

Griffin estimated the beating lasted approximately two hours, but wasn’t exactly sure what day the abuse took place — either Sept. 10, 2018 or Sept. 17, 2018. Afterward, Griffin said he attempted to nurse her back to health.

After about a week of laying in bed, Griffin said she was able to get up and go to the bathroom and eat some soup but that “stopped after some time.”

Griffin told investigators the victim did not want to go to the hospital and claimed she was alive at the time he called 911.

During the 911 call, Griffin stated he “knew he was going into custody.”

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.