Independence man admits to strangling child

Thursday, July 10, 2003

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- An Independence man admitted Wednesday to killing his girlfriend's 3-year-old son last year, prosecutors said.

Bryon Griffin, 35, pleaded guilty to 11 of the 16 felony charges he faced, including second-degree murder, abuse of a child resulting in death, forcible sodomy and first-degree assault. Griffin could face multiple life sentences.

In June 2002, Anthony Buhr, 3, was declared brain dead a day after he was found not breathing and without a heartbeat by emergency medical personnel. Officials determined he died of shaking and strangulation. Court documents said that Lena Buhr returned home to find Griffin strangling Anthony.

Lena Buhr was charged with second-degree murder and other felonies for doing nothing to stop the abuse. Anthony's father, Frank Buhr, was charged last month with child endangerment.

Griffin had pleaded innocent to the strangling death last year. His sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 15.

He is being held at the Jackson County jail without bond.

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