Trial set for man in strangling of elderly woman

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SAN DIEGO — A Nov. 10 trial date was set Tuesday for a man accused of killing an 87-year-old woman during a break-in at her Golden Hill home last year.

Court, gavel, trialJeff Boswell, also known as Tom Reed, is charged with murder, with special circumstance allegations that the killing occurred in the course of a robbery and a burglary. The victim, Blanche Griffin, lived near Boswell’s girlfriend on F Street near 29th Street.

Boswell, 44, pleaded not guilty Tuesday at his Superior Court arraignment. A readiness conference is scheduled July 29.

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has not decided whether Boswell will face the death penalty or life in prison without parole if convicted.

Boswell is also charged with two burglaries which happened after the homicide, said Deputy District Attorney Dan Link.

The defendant has a lengthy criminal history, including a burglary conviction from 1995, according to the prosecutor.

Griffin’s son-in-law went to check on her last July 10 and found her body. Rings were missing from her fingers and jewelry and a computer were missing from the home.

A deputy medical examiner determined that Griffin suffered blunt force trauma to the head, neck and chest and was strangled, according to Link.

Boswell was located in his girlfriend’s apartment, and his DNA was found under the victim’s fingernails and on her neck, Link alleged.

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