GALVESTON, Texas - A Houston man accused of killing a 79-year-old woman during a shooting spree outside a Southeast Texas courthouse has pleaded not guilty as his capital murder trial gets underway.
Bartholomew Granger faces life in prison without parole or the death penalty if he's convicted in the March 2012 slaying of Minnie Ray Sebolt outside the Jefferson County Courthouse in Beaumont.
Lead prosecutor Ed Shettle in his opening statement told jurors in Galveston on Monday this isn't a case of mistaken identity since Granger was seen by law enforcement officers and others during the rampage.
Shettle says he wants jurors to be comfortable with a decision to send Granger to death row.
Authorities say Granger hoped to retaliate against his daughter for testifying against him in a sexual misconduct trial
"It's been tough. I cry I get mad." The past year has taken an emotional and physical toll on Deborah Ray Holts, who everyday carries the purse her mother, Minnie Ray Seabolt, carried on the day she was murdered.
It happened during a shooting spree in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse in Beaumont in March of 2012. 42 year-old Bartholomew Granger is charged with capital murder. "Even though he was attempting to kill his daughter, he killed my mother, who could have lived another thirty years at the vitality she had," said Holts.
At the time of the shooting, Granger was on trial for sexually assaulting a female family member. During opening statements, prosecutors said Granger planned the attack and waited outside of the courthouse for his accuser and ex-wife. Today jurors saw surveillance video of Granger arriving at the courthouse and opening fire, photos of police responding to the shooting
and grim pictures of bullet shell casings. They also saw a shattered window where Seabolt was caught in the crossfire.
Granger's ex wife was shot and survived, along with another family member who police say Granger ran over with his truck as he drove away from the scene.
As a grieving daughter Holts says she wants justice for all the victims, but especially her mother. Today she had this message for Granger: "you are a piece of crap you couldn't hold a candle to my mother. I hope they give you the needle and i hope its soon."
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