Woman pleads guilty in Clark County campground choking death

Erin Mansfield

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Erin Mansfield

A woman who’s original conviction in the choking death of a Clark County man was overturned by an appeals court pleaded guilty Tuesday to involuntary manslaughter in the same case.

Erin Mansfield, 40, was sentenced to three years in prison and three years of parole in the death of Todd Griffith.

Mansfield choked Griffith on July 4, 2014, at the IOOF Campgrounds, 3607 Snyder Domer Road, following two arguments, according to court records. The first argument was concerning a broken lawn chair and the second argument was over Griffith cursing at Mansfield during the first argument, the court records say.

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“Mansfield and Griffith begin arguing again, and Griffith pushed her into a kiddie pool, partly filled with water, soaking her,” the court document says.

Her then boyfriend, Charles “Tony” Rogers, allegedly tackled Griffith and Mansfield jumped on top of him after getting out of the pool, the appellate court report says.

“She sat on Griffith’s chest and began to choke him,” the reports states. “(A witness) watched as Griffith started to turn blue. (The witness) told Mansfield that something was wrong and that she should stop choking him, but Mansfield replied that Griffith was just faking it.”

By the time authorities arrived, Griffith was dead.

Rogers was charged with complicity and involuntary manslaughter. His charges are still pending.

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Charges of involuntary manslaughter and voluntary manslaughter were filed against Mansfield. She was convicted by a jury and sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2015.

“We tried the case once, she was convicted,” Clark County Prosecutor Andy Wilson. “It was a tough fact pattern. The victim in the case was like 6 foot 4 inches tall and 250 pounds.”

However an appeals court ruled the local court violated Mansfield’s rights before the trial when it denied her money to pay for an expert in her defense during her trial in 2015. The appeals court overturned her conviction.

The local court had ruled because Mansfield hired her own attorney — instead of being appointed one by the court — she was responsible for paying all costs of her defense. However, she said she borrowed money to pay for the private attorney, and had no money for trial expenses.

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The appeals court ruled that “an indigent criminal defendant has a due-process right to expert assistance under some circumstances,” and ruled that she should have been granted the funds.

Wilson said he believes his office got the best outcome they could have gotten for the circumstances in the case.

“Nothing we do in court will fully provide justice to someone who was killed,” he said.

Mansfield was convicted originally in 2015 and was serving a prison sentence since. She will receive credit for time served, according to court documents.

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