Granger jurors hear from woman who accompanied victim to courthouse

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Apr 24, 2013

GALVESTON - The last person to see Deweyville resident Minnie Ray Sebolt alive during the Jefferson County Courthouse shootings took the stand Tuesday.

Prosecutors brought Vicky Hollingsworth of Starks, La., in to recall the 79-year-old certified accountant's final moments in Beaumont the morning of March 14, 2012.

Bartholomew Granger, 42, is on trial for allegedly shooting Sebolt and wounding three other women while he was in court on sexual abuse allegations.

He faces one count of murder, three counts of attempted capital murder, four counts of aggravated kidnapping and one count of aggravated assault.

Although the events took place in Jefferson County, the trial venue was changed to Galveston County because jurors would have to walk through the crime scene in order to enter the Jefferson County Courthouse.

Jefferson County District Court Judge Bob Wortham is presiding over the case, using the Galveston courtroom for proceedings.

Hollingsworth accompanied Sebolt, who was the grandmother of Hollingsworth's daughter-in-law, to the courthouse when the women heard gunshots at the revolving entrance.

According to Hollingsworth, she and Sebolt turned around and saw Granger in a squatting position.

"I tried to let go," the witness said, breaking down in tears.

She struggled to point out the location of the event on an enlarged photograph of the courthouse's main entrance, and when Jefferson County Assistant District Attorney Ed Shettle showed her images of Sebolt following the shootings, she openly sobbed.

Meanwhile, Sebolt's daughter, Deborah Ray Holst, was seen silently weeping in the courtroom as video footage of her mother falling down was played for the nine women and three men of the jury.

Two Jefferson County sheriff's deputies who had manned the security check point at the courthouse entrance the day of the shootings also testified.

One deputy stated he was "scared to death" when he and Granger locked eyes, while the other described the incident to be "like a scene out of the movie Red."

About 47 witnesses are slated to testify, but prosecutors believe the number will be trimmed down as the trial progresses.

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