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Judge grants bond hearing for man accused of stabbing, burning Atlanta pastor to death

Christopher Griggs is being held in the DeKalb County Jail without bond.

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A man accused of stabbing and burning an Atlanta pastor to death earlier this week answered to a judge Saturday.

Christopher Griggs will continue to be held in the DeKalb County Jail without bond, as determined by the judge.

During Grigg's first appearance, which was done virtually, the judge said she did not have the authority to grant him bond. She ended his appearance by saying a bond hearing will be scheduled in the coming weeks.

Jail records show Griggs is facing a malice murder charge and is accused of first-degree arson. 

DeKalb County Police Department officers arrested him Thursday in connection with Rev. Marita Harrell's death.

Police found the 57-year-old woman Wednesday night in Lithonia. According to a police report, Harrell was stabbed at a home along Panola Road and was taken to Coffee Road, where she was found burned and dead in her vehicle.

Harrell is identified as the pastor of the Connections at Metropolitan UMC in Atlanta. She was meeting with Griggs, who was recently released from jail, for ministry work, her husband told police.

According to her Connections at Metropolitan bio, Harrell has lived in Atlanta for more than 30 years and has a husband of 27 years and two daughters.

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