Apparent outburst from Granger forces Wortham to adjourn first day of punishment phase

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | May 1, 2013

GALVESTON - An apparent outburst from the Houston man convicted of capital murder in the Jefferson County Courthouse shootings abruptly ended the first day of his trial's punishment phase.

Bartholomew Granger, 42, exploded into a tirade, claiming the state lied to him about an opportunity to cross-examine his 22-year-old daughter. Bailiffs escorted Granger from the courtroom Wednesday morning and Judge Bob Wortham adjourned the proceedings for the day.

A jury of three men and nine women issued a guilty verdict Tuesday against the former truck driver and amateur rapper in the March 14, 2012, shooting death of 79-year-old Deweyville resident Minnie Ray Sebolt, an innocent bystander who was entering the front doors of the Beaumont courthouse.

Granger also wounded three other women, including his daughter, Samantha Jackson, and her mother, Claudia Jackson, during a recess from his sexual assault trial where the two women had testified against him.

Granger ran over Samantha Jackson after shooting her, then fled to a nearby business and took hostages.

He was tried in Galveston County because jurors would walk through the crime scene every time they entered the courthouse for trial.

Jefferson County Judge Bob Wortham presided over proceedings.

Granger's defense team asked Judge Wortham for a competency hearing to which the prosecution opposed on grounds a psychiatrist’s past findings deemed Granger mentally fit.

Afterwards, Granger ranted about how he cannot proceed because he did not get the chance to challenge his eldest child with Claudia Jackson on the stand.

He proceeded to lambast Samantha Jackson, stating "the b**** got what she deserved," as well as angrily accuse Judge Wortham of ordering the arrest of his brother, Lyndon.

Decrying a system he believes is "corrupt," Granger insinuated race played a role in his conviction, even labeling the jury's lone African American member a "sellout."

Before the bailiffs walked him out and Judge Wortham adjourned the trial until the next day, Granger repeatedly yelled, "Give me death!"

The jury was not present during the incident.

Granger could receive life in prison or the death penalty.

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