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Granger sentencing continues

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The sentencing phase of the Bartholomew Granger capital murder trial is ongoing in Galveston.

A psychiatrist took the stand Friday as one of the first witnesses.  When asked if Granger would be a danger to society, the response was to say Granger has anger issues. 

"He's a paranoid individual. Saying he's an angry man is an understatement," said Dr. Edward Gripon.

Wednesday and Thursday's proceedings were filled with outbursts from Granger aimed at prosecutors and family members. Both days Granger had to be removed from the courtroom.

Granger was found guilty Tuesday in the March 14, 2012 shooting rampage at the Jefferson County Courthouse.

Proceedings in the sentencing phase began Wednesday morning with the first of many outbursts from Granger as he shouted at 58th District Court Judge Bob Wortham.

Granger's defense attorney asked for Granger to be examined and not go forward with sentencing today, claiming Granger is not capable to go forward today.

"I don't believe Mr. Granger will be able to control himself today. With him having an outburst in front of the jury that will affect their decision and that concerns me greatly," said defense attorney James Makin.

Judge Wortham did not allow the delay.

"There's already been a finding that he's competent to stand trial. He's been a gentleman throughout the trial. His conduct has been very appropriate. Mr. Granger knows how to control his temper. I think Mr. Granger knows that anything he does if front of the jury, will be what they consider, said Judge Wortham.

Then Granger began yelling at the judge.

"I can't because you people are lying on me. It's not about me being angry and being out of control. I didn't want to come to this town because I knew what was happening. I didn't get the opportunity to cross examine my daughter," shouted Granger at the judge.

Two bailiffs took position at Granger's side as he continued shouting.

"They told me they were gonna put that lying b**ch on the stand and I was gonna cross examine her. ...Where is the American justice for me?," shouted Granger.

Granger continued with a string of obscenities aimed at his daughter, Judge John Stevens and others as bailiffs stood ready to take action if Granger moved.

Granger shouted that he was not physically able to have sex and could not have raped the victim in his previous trial and verbally attacked the young witness from that trial.

"That bi*ch got what she deserved. She deserves to be dead. Not that old lady. Her," shouted Granger.

At this point proceedings took a 10 minute break.

Following the break Granger resumed shouting obscenities at people starting with Prosecutor Ed Shettle.

Granger was restrained.

"Give me the **** death penalty," shouted Granger.

Granger was taken to a room where he could hear the proceedings, but not be in the courtroom.

The trial was held at the Galveston County Courthouse rather than in Jefferson County where the courthouse is the scene of the crime.

Deliberations began at 10:55 a.m. Tuesday.  The jury reached a verdict at 12:45 p.m. and it was read in court at 12:55 p.m.  The jury agreed there is enough evidence to convict Granger of shooting and killing Minnie Sebolt, 79, of Deweyville, and injured three others including Granger's own daughter and her mother.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Granger.

Granger's lawyer asked the judge to have the charge changed from capital murder to murder, saying that Granger did not intend to kill Sebolt, but was aiming at his daughter and her mother were witnesses in Granger's sexual assault of a child trial.

The charge was not changed.

During testimony, Granger said he did not kill Sebolt.  He claimed his gun didn't have any more bullets by the time she was hit.  His claim did not sway the jury.

DAY OF THE SHOOTING

The day of the shooting, Minnie Sebolt was at the courthouse to help a friend.  A police department spokesperson said she was struck by one of Granger's bullets.

According to 12News file stories, immediately after the shooting, Granger fled to R.C.I., a nearby business, on Neches Street.  He briefly took hostages, but was overpowered by employees.

A police spokesperson told 12News that the employees were "...instrumental in taking Granger into custody." 

After the men apprehended Granger they opened a large steel door that officers say they would have had difficulty breaching.

THE VICTIM WHO DIED

Minnie Sebolt was a CPA and volunteered for Orange County during elections.   Friends told 12News shortly after her death she was well known in the community.

"If I done something wrong, and she found out about it, she'd jump my hiney. It didn't bother her," Jeannette Berry told 12News shortly after the shooting as she described Sebolt as a second mother.

GRANGER'S DAUGHTER WAS SHOT

Granger's daughter received a gunshot wound and other injuries the day of the courthouse shooting.  She spent nearly three months in a coma as a result of her injuries.

 

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