GALVESTON - Following what his defense team called an "uncontrollable breakdown" which prompted a Jefferson County District Court judge to adjourn the first day of the punishment phase on Wednesday, a calmer Bartholomew Granger returned to the courtroom Thursday.
Jefferson County prosecutors Ed Shettle and Pat Knauth laid out the state's case to mete out the death penalty to the 42-year-old Granger, who was convicted of capital murder in the Jefferson County Courthouse shootings that killed one and injured three others.
Granger fatally shot Deweyville resident Minnie Ray Sebolt, 79, who was entering the front doors of the Beaumont courthouse with a relative the morning of March 14, 2012.
"This part of the trial will not last long, but I will not sacrifice information for the sake of brevity," Shettle stressed to the jury of three men and nine women.
"It is not going to be easy, but I'm confident you will make a decision you are going to be comfortable with."
Proceedings included an apology from Granger for his outburst, but the former truck driver and amateur rapper got into a short exchange with Shettle after the court recessed for lunch.
Jurors listened to new testimony from Granger's daughter, Samantha Jackson; her mother, Claudia Jackson; and his estranged spouse, Rebecca Richard.
Samantha Jackson, 22, recalled how her father gave her "lessons" on sex when she was a minor by inappropriately touching her private parts with his, adding he was very controlling.
At the time of the courthouse shooting, Granger had been in the middle of a sexual assault trial. His daughter and her mother had testified against him the day before and were returning to the courthouse when Granger went to his car and retrieved a gun. He shot Samantha Jackson several times and then ran over her with his truck as he fled to a nearby fabricating business and took hostages.
Granger has claimed that he meant to shoot Samantha and her mother, but not Sebolt. During the trial, he argued that Beaumont police may have killed Sebolt during their shootout with Granger, however it was determined that the bullet that fatally struck Sebolt came from Granger's gun.
Also testifying were guards who watched Granger when he was jailed following the shootings. They recounted that Granger verbally abused them, particularly an African American officer who seemed to receive most of Granger's ire.
The rest of the day was devoted to 180 clips of phone calls between Granger and his relatives.
A defiant-sounding Granger was heard repeatedly telling his brothers and mother that he was a soldier of God fighting a war against the "demons" of Jefferson County.
He compared the courthouse attack to President John F. Kennedy's 1963 assassination, bragging he "never imagined I would be famous for being bad."
Meanwhile, his attorneys reserved their right to speak after state evidence was presented.
For a capital murder offense, Granger could receive life in prison without parole or the death penalty.