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BREAKING!! : URGENT!! : Two Arrested In Opal Page Murder Case – 5.11.09 6:28 PM EDT

[ 93 ] May 11, 2009 |
© 2009 Nelson County life Magazine. Photo by Tommy Stafford. 20 year-old Austin Griffin is led to a bond hearing by Sheriff David Brooks.(right) Inv. Becky Adcock, Capt. Ron Roberson, and Inv. Paul McCormick accompany Griffin.

© 2009 Nelson County life Magazine. Photo by Tommy Stafford. 20 year-old Austin Griffin is led to a bond hearing by Sheriff David Brooks.(right) Inv. Becky Adcock, Capt. Ron Roberson, and Inv. Paul McCormick accompany Griffin.

Nelson County, Virginia
©2009 NCL Magazine

Nelson County Sheriff David Brooks just confirmed to Nelson County Life Magazine that two males have been arrested and charged with the brutal murder of 73 year-old Opal Page last week here in Nelson County, Virginia. Just moments ago Sheriff Brooks told NCL that 18 year-old Christopher Meeks of Shipman and 20 year-old Austin Griffin of Crawford’s View have been charged with 1st Degree Murder of Mrs. Page.

© 2009 Nelson County Life. Austin Griffin (left, from previous arrest photo) and Christopher Meeks are charged with 1st degree murder in the death of Opal Page.

© 2009 Nelson County Life. Austin Griffin (left, from previous arrest photo) and Christopher Meeks are charged with 1st degree murder in the death of Opal Page.

The sheriff had interviewed the two earlier and rumors swirled that they had been arrested. Late in the day Monday, Meeks was picked up on Misty Hollow Road in Amherst County; Griffin was picked up in the Paul’s Creek area near home in Nelson County.

©2009 NCL Magazine : Opal Page from a Rockfish River Elementary School yearbook picture.

©2009 NCL Magazine : Opal Page from a Rockfish River Elementary School yearbook picture.

A witness interviewed within a day or so of the murder reported seeing two suspicious males near the driveway of Mrs. Page’s home just north of Greenfield the day of the murder.

©2009 NCL Magazine : Opal Page's green '98 Malibu was found by Waynesboro Police late Thursday afternoon in their city.

©2009 NCL Magazine : Opal Page's green '98 Malibu was found by Waynesboro Police late Thursday afternoon in their city.

It’s believed the pair stole Mrs. Page’s 1998 Chevy Malibu after the murder and then abandoned it in nearby Waynesboro, Virginia. Police recovered the car, seen above, the next day.

In addition to the 1st degree murder charge, Meeks and Griffin have been charged with petty larceny, grand larceny, and burglary.

More information will be forthcoming, and we’ll have it up as soon as it’s available.

Click here for previous coverage of the Page murder case.

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Category: News

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Comments (93)

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  1. worried says:

    I just think people need GOD in their life.

  2. RH says:

    “he had ambitions and wanted to do better with his life and now because of this he will not be able to do it. you can sit there and call him or both of them heartless and yes what they did was pretty heartless but im sure the intent wasnt to go and actually kill and 73 or however old woman”

    God, please tell me this poster is not eligible for jury duty.

  3. LUB says:


  4. worried says:

    The world is getting worse and worse. People letting the devil take over their lives. We need God people. Stop the hate and pray get God in ur life.

  5. S.T. says:

    I’m not sticking up for the guys, but I really think everyone on here should stop acting like they knew them so well and all of their problems. Its none of your business what they’re families do or have done in the past. Stop judging them as if you know them, just because someone seems sketchy to you doesn’t automatically make them murderers. What matters is Mrs. Page’s family and everyone should stop with the rumors and stop acting like you know everything and think about her family and what they’re going through.

  6. Megan says:

    I think we all need to pray for this situation and hand it to God, instead of judging everyone. That’s not our place.

  7. A grieving heart says:

    I’ve been stunned to silence. I’m sure we all feel the same sadness, the same fear, the same anger. Having lost someone so senselessly, now a distraught family grieves, friends old and new mourn, and the community is saddened. We felt a horror among us. This is our suffering.
    We also do not understand. These two young men have lost their way in life, blinded by demons they had no power over. Their families are now torn apart and grieving the loss of the little boy they loved and the horror of what he has done, looking forward with anguish, guilt and shame. This is also our suffering. None escape it.
    We would do well to see that the grace we find in life is the power we have over our own demons, for we all have some of the darkness of the world in our natures. Right now, I ask that we find enough respect for that grace within us to forego, though justice and vengeance seem called for, expressing the demons I see on this page – the profanity and visciousness – in order to show each other, here in our homes, in our community, that we have the power and strength that we need now to offer comfort and support. Our neighbors and loved ones have all felt the terror of violence erode the peace and safety we enjoy here. The grieving especially do not need these insults profaning the memory of their loved one or of their loss. Please, PAY YOUR RESPECTS.

  8. new resident of Nelson Co says:

    I am totally amazed at the language being used. What happened to education?…. How is it we have such limited vocabularies that we have to resort to expletives to express our opinions. Why were these boys (one or both) allowed to drop out of school? Where was the family support they needed as they were getting into the difficult years? How many of you attend church every Sunday?…. Where is your moral compass? Where is shame in our society?
    What these boys did was wrong, very wrong, and they should receive the stiffest penalties for their actions. People have said they came from “nice” families….. One can be nice and still be a rotten parent. Parenting is tough, demanding, constant, and challenging…. When times get tough with pre-teens and teens, some parents just relinquish any responsibility. Pre-teens and teens actually need more attention and supervision than infants and toddlers.
    I see it time and time again…. Parents leading their lives and leaving their kids to fed for themselves emotionally as it is inconvenient to put up with difficulty. You might provide a roof over their heads, give them money for food, usually junk food, perhaps fix a meal occasionally, give them money for clothes but no direction concerning inappropriate apparel. We do not expect anything of our children, except not to be a bother….. and then we are shocked when kids from ‘good’ families shoot up schools or murder older women in their homes, yet the warning signs were there for years….. Let’s learn the lessons from this tragedy…honor Mrs. Page in her death, by looking at our own families, looking at our own kids. See where we can improve and take joy again in being participating parents…. There are great rewards for that great effort…. It is said we live our lives twice…. the first time while we live it, and a second time with the memories. What kind of memories can we expect in our old age if we acquiesce our responsibilities as parents and end up with teen pregnancies, teens on drugs, high school drop outs with no hope for the future, potential criminals…. Kids with hope, expectations, parental support and guidance, education, religion, a belief in something larger than ourselves, usually don’t end up this way…..
    We have become a rude, disjointed society disregarding rules for manners, dress, language, pride of family, pride of name, accomplishment, developing work ethics, pride of expanding our minds, celebrating excellence, trying to be more in the example of Jesus. Let’s be that great example for our kids, all kid and for each other. They watch us and do what we do… Think about it… Look at how we talk to each other, talk about each other, treat each other….. We can do so much better, and we have to constantly be conscious of our actions and who is watching….. like what is being taught in elementary school, Character counts!!! This needs to be taught and reinforced at home also.
    We have three phases to our lives….Our spiritual life, our physical life, and our mental life…. These three areas need to be developed equally. Where does your family stand? Where do you stand? Remember Mrs. Page and don’t let her life and example die with the headlines. Honor her memory by loving, honoring, and caring for your children, your neighbors, yourself and look forward to a really great life…. not an easy life, but a great life….

  9. who cares what my name is says:

    Stop talking about this like you know all the answers. Everyone. Some of you are blaming the parents. Do you even have children? Probably not. These boys made a horrible decision, yes. Will they reap the consequences? Of course. Should everyone be aware that things like this could happen in little ol’ Nelson County? Yes, they can happen anywhere. That’s why it’s on the news. Will God judge them? Who knows, you can’t really answer that. They hurt an old woman who many people cared for. What was their actual reason? I bet they don’t even know.

    What I’m getting at is, something horrible just happened, and instead of talking about things we could do, like put security systems in the homes of the elderly, we’re talking repeatedly about the same thing (what they did was wrong, think about the families, let god judge them). No, do something worthwhile and make little ol’ Nelson a safer place to live.

    Do I know the answer? Hell no, but I think reading the same thing over and over again was a little waste of my time. Start thinking of things we can do so that this won’t happen again. The consequences for this action were apparently not enough to stop these youngsters from doing something so terrifying.

  10. Misti Ramsey says:

    RH – the person who posted what you were responding to is 16 years old. I believe she is still in shock & doesn’t want to believe it, no matter how real it is.

    That being said, I too wish everyone would stop making it about themselves & how close they were to these 2 boys. That is irrelevant in this case. What matters is the fact that Mrs Page, an innocent, beautiful, 73 year old woman, lost her life due to the ignorance of both of them. Their families are not to blame, although it may seem that one boy is following in his father’s footsteps. These boys did this on their own. Their parents were not there holding their hands through the terrible crime, and neither were their siblings, who unfortunately, still have to face everyone in school from day to day. Some of the greatest parents have had children turn out this same way. All three families need prayer. Mrs Page’s family, for her death. The other two families for the fact that both have lost their sons as well. Regardless of what anyone may believe, I’m sure no one expects this of their children. Everyone involved in this case needs to strengthen their relationship with God at this time, and some of you posting things on here need to as well. Now more than ever, Nelson County needs to show how strong it can be, and everyone needs to come together as a community. There are MANY people grieving over this tremendous loss to our community, so no matter what you feel, show some respect for those of us who’s hearts are aching. Thanks!

  11. angel says:

    I justI just wanted to say that all three families are in my thought and prayers tonight I cant image what them must be going thru

  12. gee says:

    There are truley some who are not considerate at all of the feelings of those involved, and those that are just saddened by this tragedy. Fingers are pointed at the parents……..what about our school systems? They have taken God out of our schools, yet the children are allowed (and needless to say encouraged) to explore all alternatives to “find thier selves”. As long as God is left at home they are content. They are bound by law to allow free speech of the devil, but you can’t metion God. They tell us how to dicipline our children, or should I say, how not to dicipline them. The is only one JUDGE….and lbelieve it or not we all will have to face HIM one day.

  13. ris says:

    I agree what you guys are saying about the school system — Nelson County’s educational programs are run like a mess. After transferring to another high school just one county over, I couldn’t even attend school the first day because they were slow on sending all of my information. Nelson is lucky to have some great teachers and some not so great ones, however it seems to me that what most of the teachers care about is just getting their job done, not helping these kids pass or stay in school. Personally I know a few administrators/teachers who don’t give half a crap about their kids and the kids’ mentality and emotions. It’s a shame.

    @ all the people who are saying that God needs to be involved, I half-way agree. I’m not christian myself, but I believe that there is a higher force and that in some way, everyone should try and connect, whether it be through Christianity, Buddhism, whatever else. It shouldn’t necessarily be involved in school because not everyone is Christian and from a non-christian point of view sometimes it feels like I’m being smothered by a religion that is not mine. I respect and even admire religious people, because I could not do it myself.

    It’s true that it’s not all about the family. Sometimes there are situations that kids get themselves into that not even parents can help with. It was their choice to do this, and whatever else they’ve done. Take into consideration how much pain and confusion the families, friends and close others are enduring.

    People make choices, sometimes good, sometimes bad, but either way, they’ll reap the consequences.

  14. gee says:

    I don’t belive that any one belief needs to be pushed onto anyone. My point is, from a personal experience, these teachers and guidance councelors have NO right to tell a parent (after they have told the shild) that these kids need to explore alternate ways of living and believing when it is not how the kids are being raised at home. We parents should be left to teaching our child the ways of the world as we see fit and the schools stick to reading, writing and addition. Why don’t they try to teach these kids to believe in THEMSELVES a little more???? If maybe they would start there…. all of us would turn out a little better!
    I will never forget, my now teenagers first week of kindergarden. He came home with a booklet from guidance and this is what he said “mommy, if you say or do anything to me that I don’t like and I am to scared to call 911 all I have to do is tell my teacher and they will take care of you”. Go figure!

  15. nelson high students says:

    First and formost god is needed in this situation he is the only one who can fix it all. We all know Chris and Austin, no we never thought they would do it either but they did. Now days you dont know who people truly are, no matter how long you have known them or not… DONT blame it on the teachers yeah we might not have some of the best teachers but damn they cant be blamed everytime a student gets in trouble. You cant always blame parents either they try there best its not like they are going and telling there kids to kill people. Some people just get in the wrong crowd. These People All Need Prayer not to be shot down just because their kids made a mistake…. We are all very upset but their is nothing we can do but pray. Thanks to nelson cops and etc… for getting these two and not just giving up on it, it is a relief knowing that they are not still on the streets… but there are still plenty others that im sure shouldnt be on the streets.

  16. jbm says:

    I don’t see how these kids could have such a low regard for another human’s life. Apparently she seemed worthless to them, but Mrs. Page was a loving person who contributed tremendously to her family, community, and friends. She will be missed forever.

    Not only were these boys murderers, but they have stolen so much. They stole the time Mrs. Page had remaining on this earth. They stole all the good she would have done. They stole her from her family, her friends, and her community; they will never enjoy her company again.

    They have stolen joy and peace from so many other people, whose peace of mind and sense of justice have been disrupted.

    May God bless all who greive and may His judgement rule.


  17. Kathy Howery says:

    I think it is all very sad. I feel horrible for Mrs. Page and her family. I can’t imagine what they are going through. It is so sad and such a senseless crime. I am glad they have 2 suspects behind bars and hope that they get the punishment they deserve. Although this won’t bring Mrs. Page back, I hope that the knowledge of justice will bring some peace to her family. God bless them.

  18. terri says:

    We all need to stop and think those of you that never mrs page know she wouldn’t want us acting the way we are right now … Yes those men should never see daylight again, yes they should be done the same way they did her, they don’t need to live … She isn’t alive so they shouldn’t be also … However with that lil vent being said we need to pray and keep praying cause mrs page would want us to and we need to look to the sky each day and thank God for her and her family along with thinking God for us and our familys … And yes evening though the men should be hung it still has to be a little prayer for them cause mrs page would want that … Mrs page you will be missed so so much but you know you are in a better place and all of us sweet loving kids you help teach will see you again one day in Heaven … We love you mrs page

  19. LUB says:


  20. 1 worried scared mom says:

    Each person is responisble for their own actions. Any parent, teacher, friend or other can try and lead you in any direction…..either good or bad……… have the choice of whether or not to follow. These boys are old enough to know what they were doing…don’t blame the drugs either…they made the choice to do the drugs!

  21. Alex Boles says:

    Firm believer in karma?? How can you say that after what has just happened. If you knew Mrs. Page then you would know she had no part of her that deserved this. She was the nicest woman I remember ever having dealt with in elementary school. I guarentee karma had nothing to do with her death. I have been around these two a fair amount like many people have in Nelson County and they have always had two sides. One side a; nice guy just trying to catch a break after making some mistakes, another side as a really confused sometimes angry person. These kids have always been stuck transitioning from one side to another and this just adds another tally to the confused angry side of both of their personalities. Another mistake in a long list for both of them and it is unfortunate but this my just be the last for both of them.

  22. Ann says:

    i’ve known chris since elemantary school and hes always been a troublemaker. he was a nice enough guy but—-i don’t know austin so i can’t say the same for him. they made the choice to take and innocent 73 year old woman’s life. it was all them, their parents have nothing to do with it so the people that want to blame the parents are idiots in my opinion.

  23. Tiffany says:

    First and Foremost- My thoughts and Prayers are with Mrs. Page’s family, friends, and students. Also with the families of the Austin and Chris. THE FOLLOWING IS STRICTLY MY OPINION AND NOT MEANING TO CAUSE OFFENSE TO ANYONE READING!!!!! Second- it is not in any size, shape or form, right to blame the parents or the school system for what happened. I do not know either of the families, but i strongly disagree with blaming them. I am currently a senior at NCHS and i fail to believe that this can be pinned on the school. If it was the fault of the school system ALL of the students would be the same way. Everyone is effected by this whole thing differently and some should watch what they say and be respectful of others.

    Special Thanks to The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office and all other law enfourcement envolved in the investigation!

  24. Nelson County Neighbor says:

    I do appreciate all the comments I have read on this subject. There is nothing we can do, other than grieve and give support to these families, about the events that have happened. With all the complaints directed and finger pointing the real question is what we can do in this county to try and prevent another tradgedy like this. Three people lost there lives in this, one by brutal murder and two by choice. If there is anyone out there that thinks the pen or jail for that matter is a cake walk think again. These 2 boys will become men, or worse, real fast. Let’s put our heads together and try to pull something out of the hat besides an empty hat. We have to help ourselves before anyone can help us. My prayers and tears for everyone even remotely associated with this tragedy are heart felt.

  25. Alies says:


  26. Alies says:

    also tiff i know who you are and it wouldnt b EVERYONE if not EVERYONE was treated the same way by teacher and staff…not saying anything about its there fault becuase we all know they where smart enough to know what they where doing..but its narrow minded to think every child in the school systems are delt with in a un-biest manner because i know this to not b true..they look for reason to get kids in trouble at nelson county so that they can kick them out if they dont like the way they look or act instead of actully trying to help they make things worse

  27. John says:

    Thanks to “a grieving heart” for elevating our spirit, and hopefully helping us to reflect a bit on what we write and say now at this tragic and poignant moment. I wish I knew you, and sincerely wish you well along with Mrs. Pages’s family and friends.

  28. C. Anna says:

    They may have been on drugs that night, but that is no excuse for any person to kill a helpless older woman.

    I am very sad to hear about something as horrible as this happening in such a great community.
    Both of those men deserve everything that is coming to them.

    My heart goes out to all of Mrs. Page’s family and friends.

  29. who cares says:

    hey misti ramsey it doez matter if they were close to them…….they haft to deal with stress to and they get an inside look on what they were like so dont hate

  30. just me says:

    everyone just stop being mean……understand each other

  31. John if your comment was directed at me, thank you. Reality.

  32. Tiffany says:

    “Alies” I completely understand that some are devestated by the actions of Chris and Austin and I get that they want to defend them. But honestly, is if fair to “point the finger” at the entire school system? I don’t think it is. Everyone, every place has it’s flaws- clearly. It’s very difficult to understand why either of them would do it- i can’t wrap my mind around it. I’m not going to say hurtful things.. it’s not ethical. Some of the things you are saying about the school system MAY be true BUT keep in mind that it’s those FEW people that are like that-not the ENTIRE thing. and Yeah teachers and administrators should NOT under ANY circumstances “play by their own rules” but they’re people too. You want people to sit back and read and THINK about what they are saying to do to Chris and Austin- that they are stooping to their level.. You should do the same. Pointing fingers ((to outside parties)) really isnt going to help much at all at this point. When all of this goes to trial, the real story will come out. and HOPEFULLY all the facts will be there. Maybe it’ll allow closure for everyone thats hurt by this horrific occurance. My prayers are out to ALL that are effected by this.. honestly and whole-heartedly. My deepest empathy for the friends of Austin and Chris- i’m sure it’s not easy.

  33. NCHS STUDENT says:

    completely agree nelson girl. people do need to have decency and respect.

  34. NCHS STUDENT says:

    Ris- Again agreed. whats worse that sitting in prision living with the knowledge that you took someone’s life.

    was your last statement supose to be ironic?

  35. Frknface says:


  36. G says:

    I can not believe that people are wasting their time criticizing everyones grammar and people’s opinons that they have a right to have!!! The purpose of this website is to voice your opinions and not to point fingers at others. Just read the comment and you would get their point regaurdless of the grammar used. Spend your time more wisely by thinking about the reality of the situation and thinking about all of the peolpe who are stunned, heartbroken, and greiving through such a horrible time. And yes, probably most of these comments are left by high school students that actually knew these guys…this time is especally hard for them so its really not such a great time to criticize their comments.

  37. worried says:

    Pray, Pray,Pray. Give ur life 2 GOD. ……..

  38. Frknface says:

    Thanks G. that was well said.

  39. Kristen says:

    Neither of these boys had a history of violence,I like everyone else is shocked and deeply upset that this has happened,because it was a stupid ridiculous crime,and I know that if it was my Grandma like anyone else’s I’d rejoice that these two criminals were caught.I think that prison is the right place for them,and in no way am I defending them,but it just needs to be said that neither of these boys or atleast one of them who I knew,had a history of being a nice guy,who made a lot of mistakes (not speaking of this one yet) but had a good personality.I’m really upset like everyone else,that this could happen in my home town,and I want the best for the Page family,and the safety of the senior citizens in Nelson,but I wanted to respectfully put on the record,that although this whole thing is cold-blooded and whatever punishment that is dished out is most certainly deserved to some degree,that it’s not like these two were born cold killers,and a little respect to their families is due instead of talking about which death sentence you’d like for these two and etc. If it was your son,or your friend,you’d have not one but two things to remorse deeply about in the Page murder,the loss of a good woman,and the shock of knowing that your friend/family has completly done a 360 for the worse.Some of you should put a little more sensitivity into ALL areas of this situation,not just the one that makes the most sense to you.In no way am I defending what happened or trying to make anyone feel better about these guys,but I’m hurting and I know a lot of people who are too,for both the Page family, the two boys,and the families. So stop taking a serious issue for everybody and making it about argueing,because none of us have any control over what happened,and what will happen to them,it’s selfish and a lot more people are grieving outside of this message board,and this is giving everyone a lot more fuel to the fire to keep talking and disrespecting the families.

  40. HickoryFlower says:

    I know it doesn’t seem like events such as this could happen in our quiet, little town and I sympathize with everyone’s feelings expressed so far. I grew up for a time with Austin, he was my neighbor, and I couldn’t fathom the idea that he was capable of murder.

    While I don’t live in Nelson County anymore I’ve been keeping up with this on the website and I just feel extreme sadness for both boys and Mrs. Page’s family. I am proud of the Sherrif’s Office for responding and closing this case so quickly. While this is a good place for everyone to vent out their feelings we must remember that it’s in the court’s hands now and ultimately in God’s. As much as we want to express what we would do to these boys if we had them in a room alone, or what their parents should have done, this doesn’t change the fact that we have lost a dear member of the community. As much I would like to think that this kind of things doesn’t happen in Nelson County, I can’t.

    I’m glad that the community of Nelson County can come together like this and mourn, even if you’re only here in spirit.

  41. Someone from the county says:

    I have read through every post, and am astonished at what sounds like sympathy for these two boys, they did not have sympaty for Mrs. Page. I’m not saying everyone had sympathy but most of the teenagers here did, and if you knew Chris and Austin so well, you would know the trouble they have been in and out of their whole entire teenage life…I would have never guessed that Chris would have done something like this, but it doesn’t surprise me with Austin, I do not know Austin’s parents so I am not judging them at all…but I know Chris’s family let the boys get by with whatever they wanted, and they never had to suffer any consequences for any of their actions. So he never thought anything he did was wrong…I’m not saying Chris wasn’t a nice person at one point in his life..because he was…but with no guidence in his life…what was he supposed to learn? He had to learn the hard way.

  42. Shocked-still says:

    By age 7- you know right from wrong, you have a concience, you have GUILT. Yeah, it’s understandable that some are mad about people -so called – defending these MEN but its even more understandable for people to be mad at those of you who DID NOT know them. Let the court system handle it!!! As stated above ridiculing people who are trying to vent, grieve, express, or whatever isnt necessary. I know for a fact that when you are mad/upset/angry/histerical/shocked/ etc…. grammer is most likely the LAST thing on your mind.

    For those of you who are being so thoughtless and disrespectful: Stop and take a look at what you are really saying. to the people who are DEVESTATED about this whole occurance. you are kicking them when they are low. its not ethical!

    Please- for Heaven’s sake- be a little more respectful.

  43. […] School in Afton, Virginia. Authorities developed the case against the pair rather quickly and made the arrests four days later on May 11th. The two have remained in jail without bond as the case preparation continues by the VA Commonwealth […]