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"When we saw him with a gun, we all just broke out running," Gra - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

"When we saw him with a gun, we all just broke out running," Granger's wife testifies

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10 witnesses took the stand Tuesday in the capital murder trial of accused courthouse shooter, Bartholomew Granger.

The witnesses included a man who said he parked behind the defendant during the shooting, two deputies who were first to respond to the scene, a friend of Minnie Sebolt's, a victim who was shot in the hand, the wife of Bartholomew Granger, and four Beaumont police officers.

The first witness called was William Anderson who said he was parked behind the defendant when he was acting "like he was up to something." William said "He opened the door completely. He reached across the seat and picked up a rifle. I could see the muzzle sticking out to left hand side."

Deputy Tony Barker was one of the first deputies to respond to the scene. He was second to testify. He said he was looking out of the jury empanelling room window talking to another person when he said some ladies fell at the front door. 

Deputy Barker testified he did not know why they fell, but saw a man run from them. 

"Something wasn't right, so I ran out the front door," testified Barker.

Security camera video shows Deputy Barker and Deputy Donald Hays, who was third to testify, leaving the courthouse, still not knowing that shots were fired.

Deputy Barker said it was then that shots rang out in front of the courthouse.  He said the shooter was directly in front of him. 

"I got to the last piller in front of the courthouse.  As I approached him, he lowered his gun, he appeared to be having difficulty.  He looked up, saw me coming and he took off to a truck," said Deputy Barker.

He said the truck went to another parking lot where he saw a lady pushing herself up with two hands.  He said the driver, later identified as Granger, just ran over her at full speed.

The fourth witness to take the stand was Vickie Hollingsworth, Minnie Sebolt's friend. She testified that her and Sebolt were going to the courthouse that day to see about a loan.

Hollingsworth said when Sebolt was shot, she fell along with Sebolt and they were lying on the ground face to face. Hollingsworth stared Granger down as she walked off the witness stand.

Leslie King, a victim then testified saying she was shot in the hand by Granger. "It felt like a rock shooting out of a lawnmower when it hit my hand," she said.

Granger's wife testified next. She did not look at Granger one time while on the stand. While out in the street the day of the shooting she said "I saw someone run into street. I looked over and I saw a gun and I saw Bartholomew." She said Bartholomew's daughter yelled "Oh, my God, Daddy!" She said she began running as he put his gun up to his shoulder. She ran to safety and says she did not know until everything was over, the status of her daughter.

Three Beaumont police officers then testified to end the day. Dash cam video was shown of who they say is Granger driving a truck running over his daughter who was already shot. An officer said Granger pointed a rifle out of his truck pointing it at the officer. The officer pulled over saying he felt his life was in danger.

One of the officers who testified said she was first to get to Granger's daughter. She said Granger's daughter told her "Please don't let me die. How's my mom?" and "Please come to the hospital with me." The officer said she followed the ambulance to the hospital until his daughter went into surgery.

Wednesday, Granger's daughter and her mother are expected to testify.

Granger is facing capital murder charges after police say he shot and killed 79-year-old Minnie Ray Sebolt in March of last year. Police say Granger opened fire outside of the Jefferson County Courthouse, killing Sebolt and injuring 4 others, including his daughter and her mother.

He is also facing three other counts of attempted capital murder, 4 counts of aggravated kidnapping and one count of aggravated assault.

 

FILE FROM MONDAY'S TESTIMONY:

Monday, Jefferson County Criminal District Judge John Stevens and Beaumont Police Chief Jim Singletary testified during the first day of testimony in a Galveston courtroom.

Judge Stevens was called by prosecutors as Stevens was hearing the original case against Granger that was scheduled to begin later that day. Granger was facing aggravated sexual assault charges.

Stevens said he was in court when he was made aware of the shooting. He said a man burst into the courtroom, yelling "They're shooting downstairs." He said he left the courtroom to go retrieve a firearm, went downstairs and came across about 10 ladies saying they were being shot at. He said he covered the women and notices one was bleeding from falling while running away from the gunfire. He said he then took the woman into County Clerk Carolyn Guidry's office to be tended to. He said Guidry told him that there was another woman there who was shot in the stomach. Stevens said he recognized her to be Claudia Jackson, the mother of Granger's daughter.
 
Chief Jim Singletary testified about hearing gunshots ring out as he walked out of the police station jail. Surveillance video from the police station was shown as Singletary testified. Singletary told jurors he, along with 60-70 officers, rushed to the scene to try to stop an angered gunman.
 
Also testifying Monday was Jefferson County District Attorney investigator, Mike Kirkpatrick.  Kirkpatrick spoke about courthouse surveillance video and gave a time frame of how the suspect planned the attack.
 
Here's his timeline:
 
7:24 am: Defendant's truck drives into left parking lot of courthouse
7:25 am: Defendant gets out of truck and walks to courthouse
7:27 am: Defendant walks up to courthouse, tries to open the front door but courthouse is locked
7:28 am: Defendant walks back to vehicle
7:31 am: Defendant's headlights come on and defendant backs into a front parking lot closest to street. Kirkpatrick says this was Granger's "getaway mode."
11:20 am: Defendant exits vehicle runs across street
                 Sebolt seen walking into courthouse then falls to ground at door
11:21: Defendant runs back to vehicle , vehicle drives across Milam into next parking lot
           Truck circles on Pearl Street.
 
In opening statements Monday, Jefferson County Assistant District Attorney Ed Shettle told jurors that there was no questions who did the crime.

"This is not a question of mistaken identity," said Shettle. "He was always in sight of law enforcement. He never left the crime scene."

Shettle said the state will show how he jumped out of the truck to the middle of the street with an assault rifle and shot his 20-year-old daughter three times. 

"We want him to sit on death row," he said.

The state is expected to call over 40 witnesses to the stand to testify in a trial that is expected to last two weeks.

Minnie Sebolt's daughter attended day one of testimony and says she will attend the entire trial. She was often seen crying and wiping away her tears as video of her mother was shown gunned down on the front steps of the courthouse.

"I hope he's given the needle and I hope it's soon," says Deborah Ray Holst, "I want him to get the death penalty."

Granger's mother is expected to attend part of the trial. His brother, Lyndon, is currently in jail on a $4 million bond in connection with the same sexual abuse case as Bartholomew. Judge Stevens was the judge overseeing that sexual abuse trial at the time of the courthouse shooting.

The prosecution is seeking the death penalty if Bartholomew Granger is found guilty. The defense asked jurors to consider life in prison if Granger is found guilty.

12News reporter Vanessa Holmes will be covering the entire trial from Galveston. Stay with 12News for complete trial coverage.

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