Man Sentenced to Death in Texas Courthouse Killing

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  • GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — A Houston man who admitted opening fire on his daughter outside a Southeast Texas courthouse was sentenced to death Tuesday for fatally shooting a 79-year-old bystander.

    Bartholomew Granger, 42, was convicted last week of capital murder in the slaying of Minnie Ray Sebolt. The same jurors who found him guilty deliberated for a little less than two hours before deciding on the death penalty.

    Granger testified that he opened fire on his daughter outside the courthouse in downtown Beaumont in March 2012 but insisted he did not kill Sebolt. She was a bystander walking outside the courthouse, where Granger’s daughter had testified against him in a sexual assault case. The daughter and her mother were among three women wounded in the attack.

    During the sentencing phase of his trial, Granger burst out in profanity-filled rants denouncing the verdict, his daughter, prosecutors and the judge. On Monday, as he testified — and against the advice of attorneys in the punishment phase — Granger called his case a “mockery of justice” and a “lynching.” He was then restrained and temporarily removed from court.

    The outbursts continued Tuesday when Granger began yelling as Sebolt’s daughter was reading a statement.

    “I’m sorry your mother is dead!” he shouted to Deborah Ray Holst. “I didn’t kill your mother!”

    He was removed from the courtroom and returned minutes later with a cloth covering his mouth. He continued to interrupt Holst and at one point a bailiff puts his hands over Granger’s mouth in an effort to quiet him. He became increasingly agitated and at least seven guards were needed to subdue him before order was restored.

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