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Dublin man accused of murder appears in court; victim remembered by community

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 6:51 PM EST
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PULASKI COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - A man accused of killing his mother -- a beloved educator -- appeared in Pulaski County Juvenile and Domestic Court Wednesday afternoon.

“Debbie was just an incredibly nice person and losing her is, you know, it’s creating a huge void for our school division,” said Pulaski County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kevin Siers.

The superintendent says the week following Debbie Griffith’s death has not been easy. She was a long-time and beloved teacher.

“Of course, you’re never prepared to deal with things like this. And this was an extreme tragedy for our community and our school division and specifically Dublin Elementary School.”

Griffith was killed during the school’s Thanksgiving break at a home in Dublin.

In court, Griffith’s son and accused killer William Tyler Griffith was indicted and set for a preliminary hearing in February. The suspect’s request for appointed council was also granted. The judge appointed him to the public defender’s office.

Siers says even in this time of tragedy, the community has come together to support each other.

“Miss Griffith, she has students in every single grade level in our school division that she taught and helped prepare for, for school every day and it’s, you know, so she touched a lot of lives in her career with us and she is, you know, she’s going to be missed beyond what my words can express,” said Siers.

The school system will hold a virtual day December 6 so faculty, staff, and students can participate in a memorial service honoring her legacy.

The family will receive friends from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. December 6 at the Mullins Funeral Home in Radford. A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. at the Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Dublin with Rev. Mark Miller officiating.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Dublin Elementary School, 600 Dunlap Road, Dublin, VA 24084 in her memory for the benefit of her beloved school children.

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