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Jury deliberating life or death in Granger trial
GALVESTON - by Megan Dillard
The jury in the Bartholomew Granger capital murder trial is deciding whether he should receive the death penalty or an automatic life sentence without parole.
The jury began deliberating at about 10:40 a.m. Tuesday.
Granger was removed from the courtroom during closing arguments when he began laughing uncontrollably. Judge Bob Wortham ordered bailiffs to take Granger to a holding cell outside the courtroom where he could hear what was said in court. During closing arguments and prior to his removal Granger held up a yellow legal pad to the jury with the word death.
KFDM reporter Megan Dillard is covering the trial. Watch for her live reports and stay with kfdm.com for updates.
The jury must determine if he's a continuing threat to society and if there are any mitigating circumstances to warrant a life sentence.
(Monday report) GALVESTON - by Megan Dillard
Insults directed at the Jefferson County Courthouse, Judge Bob Wortham, prosecutors and the jury. They were all part of another outburst Monday afternoon from convicted capital murderer Bartholomew Granger.
The jury in Galveston convicted Granger last week of capital murder in the shooting death of 79-year-old Minnie Ray Sebolt. She died in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse. Prosecutors say Granger killed Sebolt with bullets intended for his daughter and her mother during a shooting spree March 14, 2012 outside the courthouse.
Both women testified against Granger during his sexual assault trial underway at the time of the shooting. Granger's daughter says her father sexually assaulted her for a period of several years during her childhood.
Granger shot his daughter and her mother that day in March.
Judge Bob Wortham moved the 42-year-old defendant's trial to Galveston. KFDM reporter Megan Dillard has been covering the trial from day one.
Monday was Granger's final opportunity to address the jury in the sentencing phase of his capital murder trial, and this time, as he did during the guilt or innocence phase last week, Granger lost his composure on the witness stand.
It didn't happen right away. A confident Granger walked into court Monday afternoon with a smile, a wink and a thumbs up for our cameras. Prosecutors called it an arrogance that Granger brought with him onto the witness stand.
Granger's attorneys asked him dozens of questions about his parents, his childhood, his education. It was all in an effort to possibly establish how and why Granger is the person he is today. It was during cross examination when Granger lost control.
He continues to refer to his sexual assault case, maintaining he didn't rape his daughter. Then he said, "Yes, I did try to shoot her. I didn't have enough bullets to shoot your (expletive) courthouse."
He said, "This is not a trial. This is a mockery of justice." He also called it a "lynching" and again demanded death.
Granger then attacked the jury. He lashed out with a racial slur against the one black juror, calling her a list of insulting names.
He focused on prosecutor Ed Shettle, asking, "What's wrong, Ed.?" He used a crude four letter word to ask if he'd angered Shettle. Granger asked, "Did I upset you, baby?" He laughed, used crude language and obscenities, blew the prosecutor a kiss and then said, "I love you, Ed."
Again, a description of Granger we've brought you several times throughout the trial. This time in front of the nine women and three men who will determine his fate.
Attorneys will present closing arguments Tuesday and Judge Wortham plans to send the jury out for deliberations by lunch.
Granger faces the death penalty or a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
(Earlier report) GALVESTON - Convicted capital murder Bartholomew Granger lashed out at a prosecutor, a juror and Jefferson County in obscenity-laden statements while testifying Monday afternoon in the sentencing phase of his Galveston trial, according to KFDM reporter Megan Dillard. Granger used expletives and crude language to describe prosecutor Ed Shettle as well as Jefferson County and a female juror in the trial.
KFDM reporter Megan Dillard is covering the trial. Watch KFDM News and stay with kfdm.com for updates.
The sentencing phase resumed Monday in the Galveston capital murder trial of Granger, 42, charged in the shooting death of Minnie Sebolt, 79, on March 14, 2012 outside the Jefferson County Courthouse.
The jury convicted Granger last week. It's expected to begin deliberations this week on punishment. Granger faces the death penalty or an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Monday morning the defense played tape recordings of Jefferson County Jail conversations between Granger and relatives. Prosecutors say they show Granger making threats and they told jurors the tapes indicate Granger would be a continuing threat to society. The defense is playing the tapes in an effort to show it believes they were taken out of context.
Jurors must consider two questions in determining whether Granger should receive the death penalty: would he be a continuing threat to society and are there any mitigating circumstances?
Last Friday the defense called a psychiatrist, a pastor and two inmates to the stand in an effort to persuade jurors that Granger should receive a life sentence rather than the death penalty.
Granger walked into the courtroom with a smile.
The State rested its part of the case Friday.
A jury found the 42-year-old defendant guilty last Tuesday in the shooting death of Sebolt.
Prosecutors say he shot Sebolt at the Jefferson County Courthouse last March in a flurry of bullets intended for his daughter and her mother. The pair had testified in an aggravated sexual assault trial during which Granger's daughter said her father forced her to have sex with him. Granger shot both and ran over his daughter outside the courthouse.