Murder victim’s mother converts her grief into goodwill

As jubilant Giants fans celebrated Barry Bonds’ 700th home run Sept. 17, 2004, Tim Griffith was dying of a stab wound just outside of the ballpark.

For his mother, Redwood City resident Stacy Redman, the days following the attack were darkened by intense grief. But it also was then that Griffith’s legacy would be born.

After the 21-year-old’s funeral, Redman and her friends began thinking of ways to show people that Griffith was more than a victim of violence. He was the 5-year-old who once slipped his Christmas money to a homeless man. He was the young man who brought home stray animals and lost souls.

“Something positive had to come out of this,” Redman said. “It couldn’t be that he was lost and that’s that. His spirit was about helping people.”

They gathered their resources and started the Tim Griffith Memorial Foundation, which has raised thousands of dollars to help support violence prevention, animal rescue, outdoor education and grief counseling for families in need.

Now, the foundation is embarking on a new goal — and one close to Redman’s heart. Partnering with the Service League of San Mateo County, the foundation will open Tim’s House, a six-bed sober-living house for young men who are successful participants in Bridges, a daytime drug- and alcohol-treatment program run by the San Mateo County Probation Department.

Months before his death, Griffith had completed a three-month stint with Bridges.

“It was a very positive experience for him,” Redman said. “They build life skills and self-esteem.”

Service League Executive Director Mike Nevin said his organization is close to purchasing property in Redwood City that would become Tim’s House. Redman’s foundation would provide ongoing support of $50,000 per year.

Meanwhile, the man convicted of second-degree murder in Griffith’s death awaits his Aug. 14 sentencing. Prosecutors say Rafael Cuevas, 26, stabbed Griffith in a fight that was started after Griffith slammed his hand down on the Daly City resident’s car following the ballgame. He faces 19 years behind bars.

“It’s so hard,” Redman said. “Nothing will bring Tim back, but I’m pleased it’s the toughest sentence allowed in the case.”

tbarak@sfexaminer.com

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