By January of 1920 he was working as a druggist in Newville (Henry County), but left soon later to become a United States Marshal. on December 7 of that year he was caught in an ambush and shot by moonshiner Allen Johnson Whitney near Coolie Springs outside of Birmingham. Whitney and his three sons were arrested a week later. Griffin's body was returned to Henry County and is buried at the Newville Baptist Church cemetery there.
- Childs, Roberta Whiddon (July 14, 2008) "Richard Griffin". Alabama Story Tombstones. Alabama Heritage - accessed July 16, 2008