Diamond thief who swallowed gem wants it removed by doctors

Randy Griffin wants to turn over the diamond he swallowed, but his body is not cooperating.

On Wednesday, the 35-year-old Algonac, Mich., man accused of swallowing a diamond during a Dec. 29 Roseville heist urged a judge to order a medical procedure to have the 1-ct. gem removed from his intestinal tract, the Detroit Free Press reports.

“I need this out of me,” Griffin reportedly told the judge, before breaking down in tears. “I’m scared. I really am. I want to hand this over more than anyone does.”

Griffin, charged with felonious larceny from a person, is accused of stealing two loose diamonds from the Jewelry Exchange in Roseville, Mich., and swallowing them when confronted by police. One diamond has shown up on an X-ray while the other remains unaccounted for.

Besides obvious reasons, Assistant Macomb County Prosecutor James Biernat said the case is unique because Griffin has confessed and is willing to turn over the evidence.

“He has it. It’s inside of him,” Biernat reportedly said. “Supposedly it’s hung up in a pouch in his intestines, and it could be there a day, a week, a month or longer.”

Judge Joseph Boedeker of Roseville’s 39th District Court postponed a scheduled preliminary hearing Wednesday but listened to Griffin’s pleas to have the diamond taken out medically, the newspaper reported.

Boedeker said he needs medical evidence that the diamond could harm Griffin before considering ordering any medical procedures, the newspaper reported. The judge said costs and liability would also be an issue.

Griffin said he is concerned that the diamond could perforate his intestines or cause an infection, the newspaper reported. He said doctors told him while he was in custody at Mt. Clemens General Hospital that the diamond could be taken out with a scope, rather than surgical cutting.

“I’ll pay for it,” Griffin reportedly told the court. “Please send me back to the hospital.”

A preliminary hearing on the larceny charge, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, was postponed until Jan. 25. Griffin’s court-appointed lawyer, Cyril Pessina, said he will try to gather more medical evidence on what should be done to recover the diamond, the newspaper reported.

“My client is not denying anything; in fact, he’s cooperative,” Pessina reportedly said. Pessina said he also wants to look into his client’s housing conditions at the Macomb County Jail.

Griffin told the judge he is being kept away from the jail’s general population, the newspaper reported.