3 charged in 2007 Dothan cold case homicide

3 charged in 2007 Dothan cold case homicide
Three suspects are now charged with murder and robbery following a 2007 Dothan cold case. (L-R) Kevin Thornton, Kendrick Bryant, and Jessie Swain. (Source: Dothan Police Department)

DOTHAN, Ala. (WSFA) - The Dothan Police Department is releasing the names of three suspects charged in connection to a cold case homicide that has stumped investigators for more than a decade.

Kevin Shawn Thornton, 48, Jessie Jerome Swain, 47, and Kendrick Fitzgerald Bryant, 30, are now charged with killing Perry Griffin in the early morning hours of June 26, 2007.

Perry Griffin was killed on June 26, 2007. Until now, the identity of his killers has been unclear to authorities.
Perry Griffin was killed on June 26, 2007. Until now, the identity of his killers has been unclear to authorities. (Source: Dothan Police Department)

Police said Griffin, who worked at Panhandle Converters and Scrap, was leaving town on business and was carrying a large amount of cash, as he often did for such trips.

Security cameras were rolling when Perry was confronted in the business parking lot by two armed suspects. Investigators found evidence the suspects may have tried to restrain Perry in an effort to take him to another location. But Perry appears to have resisted and, after a struggle, was fatally shot.

Surveillance photo of the suspects who killed Perry Griffin at a Dothan business on Jun 26, 2007.
Surveillance photo of the suspects who killed Perry Griffin at a Dothan business on Jun 26, 2007. (Source: Dothan Police Department)

After grabbing the money, the two unidentified suspects fled into the night to a nearby vehicle where the third suspect was believed to be waiting.

Thirteen years would pass without answers until new information came to light in June. Detectives set about re-interviewing some, then interviewed new people. As a result, the Dothan Police Department determined it had sufficient evidence to file three arrest warrants.

All three suspects were charged with murder and first-degree robbery, with Thornton also facing a violation of the Sex Offender Registry And Notification Act, or SORNA.

Thornton and Swain are being held without bond. Bryant was already being held in an Alabama prison on a separate conviction.

Investigators determined Thornton and Swain, who were 35 and 34 at the time of Perry’s death, had also been employees of Panhandle Converters. Bryant, who was 17, knew Swain.

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