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Bartholomew GRANGER






Jefferson County courthouse rampage
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Killed a bystander while trying to shoot his daughter outside a courthouse
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: March 14, 2012
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: September 26, 1970
Victim profile: Minnie Ray Sebolt, 79
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Beaumont, Jefferson County, Texas, USA
Status: Sentenced to  death on May 8, 2013
photo gallery

Offender Information

Name: Granger, Bartholomew
TDCJ Number: 999579
Date of Birth: 09/26/1970
Date Received: 05/08/2013
Age (when Received): 42
Education Level (Highest Grade Completed)
Date of Offense: 03/14/2012
Age (at the time of Offense): 41
County: Jefferson
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Hair Color: Black
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 262
Eye Color: Brown

Texas Department of Criminal Justice


Bartholomew Granger sentenced to death in Beaumont courthouse killing

May 7, 2013

GALVESTON, TX -- After disrupting his capital murder trial several times with profanity-filled outbursts, Bartholomew Granger erupted in one final chaotic fit when a jury sentenced him to death on Tuesday for killing a bystander while trying to shoot his daughter outside a courthouse.

Bartholomew Granger's courtroom rants against his daughter, prosecutors and the judge had intensified since he was convicted last week of capital murder in the death of 79-year-old Minnie Ray Sebolt, who was walking outside the courthouse in Beaumont when she was shot in March 2012.

Granger, 42, showed no remorse as he admitted opening fire on his daughter and running her over with his truck because she had testified against him in a sexual assault case, but he insisted he didn't kill Sebolt. His daughter and her mother were among three women wounded in the attack.

Even as his attorneys worked to convince the jury to sentence him to life in prison without parole, Granger instead focused on denying the sexual assault allegation, angrily insisting he was not a child molester and denigrating his daughter.

Those outbursts got him thrown out of court, and they culminated Tuesday as Sebolt's daughter began reading a statement after the jury announced its sentence following less than two hours of deliberations.

As Deborah Ray Holst stood in front on him and began reading her statement, Granger shouted, "I didn't kill your mother!" and that he didn't want to hear her statement. Holst then asked Judge Bob Wortham if Granger could be shocked.

"Tase me. Inject me with poison," Granger said.

"I would love to do it myself," Holst responded.

He was removed from the courtroom but returned minutes later with what officials later said was a spit mask -- made of cloth and nylon, and used to stop inmates from spitting on guards -- covering his mouth.

But he continued to interrupt Holst. At one point a bailiff put his hands over Granger's mouth in an effort to quiet him, but he became increasingly agitated. At least seven bailiffs and deputies were needed to subdue him as Holst finished her statement, saying her mother was a caring person who always had a smile on her face and calling Granger "an evil, evil non-human."

After Holst finished, Wortham told Granger, "I think you removed any doubt from the jury's mind about the correctness of their verdict."

Earlier Tuesday, Granger interrupted prosecutors during their closing arguments in the trial's punishment phase by laughing and saying he wasn't a child molester. Wortham warned Granger about not talking. When Granger held up in the direction of jurors a yellow legal pad with the word "DEATH" drawn on it, Wortham had Granger removed from court for the rest of the closing arguments.

As he testified on Monday, against the advice of attorneys, Granger called his case a "mockery of justice" and a "lynching." He was then restrained and temporarily removed from court.

Following the jury's sentence, Holst said outside the courthouse that she "couldn't be happier" with the decision.

Lead prosecutor Ed Shettle said it wasn't Granger's behavior in court but his actions during the courthouse shooting, his lack of remorse and his potential to hurt others that led jurors to their decision.

"Bartholomew Granger got the death penalty because he deserved the death penalty," Shettle said.

James Makin, one of Granger's attorneys, said he had hoped the jury would have decided against a death sentence, but added: "I'm a realist." Makin said he doesn't believe in the death penalty but acknowledged, "If I had a gun in that parking lot that day (of the courthouse shooting), I probably would have done something with it."

Granger testified during the trial that he emptied the 10-bullet magazine of his illegally purchased semi-automatic carbine, saying he fired toward his daughter. Then, when he saw his daughter was still moving while lying in the street, he ran over her with his pickup truck. The daughter spent three months in a coma.

The trial was moved 75 miles to Galveston, so jurors didn't have to walk past the crime scene each day.

Granger's daughter, now 22, was among the witnesses who testified against him.

Prosecutors said Granger parked outside the courthouse for hours, then ambushed the women when they appeared at the courthouse in the late morning. Sebolt also was outside at the time, accompanying a relative to the courthouse. She was shot twice and died in the revolving door at the courthouse entrance.

Granger subsequently came under fire from police, abandoned his bullet-riddled truck about three blocks away, walked inside a construction business and took several people hostage. At some point he was wounded and eventually overpowered by his captives, and police moved in to take him into custody.


Convicted killer in Jefferson County courthouse shooting erupts in court

May 6, 2013

A Houston man convicted of capital murder for a slaying during a shooting spree last year outside a Texas courthouse called his case a "mockery of justice" and a "lynching" during a profanity-filled tirade Monday that resulted in him being restrained and temporarily removed from court.

Bartholomew Granger was convicted last week for the death of 79-year-old Minnie Ray Sebolt, who was a bystander shot when Granger opened fire on his daughter outside the Jefferson County Courthouse in downtown Beaumont. Granger has admitted shooting his daughter, saying he was angry with her for accusing him of sexual assault at a trial. But he has insisted he did not kill Sebolt.

Granger, a former truck driver and self-described rapper, is facing either a death sentence or life in prison without parole. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Granger previously has burst out in a couple of obscenity-filled rants, including one in which he called the lead prosecutor, Ed Shettle, "a demon."

As he testified in the punishment phase of his trial in Galveston, Granger's anger came out again as he was being cross-examined by Shettle and the two men went back and forth about whether Granger had killed Sebolt.

Granger, who testified against the advice of his attorneys, continued to insist the jury's verdict was wrong and blamed Sebolt's death on the Beaumont police, only admitting he had tried to shoot his daughter, whom he called "a liar and "a whore." His daughter, now 22, and her mother were among three women who were wounded in the March 2012 shooting. Granger had also admitted he ran over his daughter with his pickup truck after seeing she was still moving after having been shot.

After being warned by Judge Bob Wortham to stop using profanity, Granger got into an argument with Wortham, saying his trial is "not no ... court. This is a lynching," before launching into more expletives directed at his daughter.

Wortham called for a short break and had bailiffs remove Granger from the courtroom.

As Granger was being led out of court, he asked Shettle, "What's wrong Ed? ... Did I get you upset? You don't like hearing the truth."

During the 15-minute break, Granger, who had been taken to a holding area, could still be heard from inside the court as he cursed at the judge and yelled "this is ridiculous."

After the break, Granger resumed testifying for a few more minutes, continuing to yell at Shettle and insist he was not guilty of killing anybody.

As he sat down after testifying, Granger said, "Give me liberty or give me death. That's what I want." Earlier, while being questioned by Joel Vazquez, one of his defense attorneys, Granger said he wanted the death penalty and not life in prison.

After Granger's testimony, defense attorneys rested their case. Closing arguments in the punishment phase are set for Tuesday.

Earlier Monday, jurors listened to recorded jailhouse conversations in which Granger talked about demons going after his mother and warning relatives of anarchy breaking out in the U.S.

"Be careful. You a target now. Demons are after you again and they want you really bad," Granger said to his mother in a Jan. 8 conversation.

In a Jan. 17 call, he talked of civil war because of gun control efforts after last year's deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.

Granger testified he's taking two different medications for depression and a mood stabilizer.

"That mood stabilizer doesn't work too good?" Shettle asked.

"No it doesn't," Granger replied.

Granger's trial was moved to Galveston, about 75 miles from Beaumont, so jurors wouldn't have to walk past the crime scene each day.


Houston man Bartholomew Granger denies killing bystander in Jefferson County courthouse rampage

April 29, 2013

A Houston man admitted Monday that he opened fire last year outside a Texas courthouse and shot his daughter for what he says were lies about him sexual assaulting her, but he denied that he killed a bystander in the rampage.

"I didn't kill her," Bartholomew Granger, 42, said at his capital murder trial. "I didn't have any more bullets. How could I have killed her?"

Granger faces life in prison without parole or the death penalty if convicted of capital murder for the fatal shooting in March 2012 of 79-year-old Minnie Ray Sebolt outside the Jefferson County Courthouse in downtown Beaumont. His daughter and her mother were among three others wounded.

Prosecutors spent last week building their case against Granger, who said he was a rap singer and former truck driver. Granger was the first witness called to the stand by his lawyers as his defense began.

He said details of the shooting spree remain hazy.

"It was like I was on cruise control," Granger said. "It was like I wasn't even there. That's what I've been telling everyone."

Told by Jefferson County Assistant District Attorney Ed Shettle that bullets from his gun were found behind Sebolt's body at the courthouse, he replied: "I don't know that."

Under testy cross-examination by Shettle, Granger told the prosecutor: "Why is it people automatically assume I'm lying?"

Shettle responded: "Because you're a murdering son of a bitch."

"That's your opinion," Granger shot back. "Why do you got such hostility toward me? What did I do to you?"

"That little old lady bled to death," the prosecutor replied. "That's why there's such animosity."

Prosecutors allege Granger was furious with his daughter, her mother and his estranged wife because they had testified against him in a sexual assault trial taking place at the Jefferson County Courthouse at the time of the shooting. They say that Granger, who pleaded not guilty in that case, waited in his truck for hours on the morning of the attack for the chance to take revenge on the women.

He did remember running up to his daughter, that she said "Oh, my God," and then, "I pulled the trigger and the gun went off."

She started running "and I pulled the gun again. She fell down and I fell down. She said: `Daddy, stop! I'll tell the truth.' I pulled the trigger again. ... I tried to pull it again. There was no more bullets. I thought I was missing her all those times when I was shooting.

"I thought: Man, I really messed up. So I ran toward my truck."

He said he saw police cars and thought how quickly they had responded, saw his daughter in the street and moving.

"I just pushed down the gas, the accelerator. And I angled, fixed the truck toward (her) and I hit her."

Granger acknowledged signing a statement he made to police taking responsibility for the shootings but said detectives "just misquoted me. They didn't put it the way I wanted it."

Granger painted his daughter's mother as uncaring and mostly uninvolved in raising her and their son and said their daughter suffered mental problems that were the result of a smoke bomb set off in their home shortly after she was born. She moved out in her late teens.

"I blame her mother," he said of the sexual assault accusations.

His daughter was "not right in the head. Everybody's been manipulating her."

He said he bought what prosecutors have called an assault rifle from a drug dealing MS-13 gang member in Houston because he couldn't purchase a weapon legally, the result of him being an accused sex offender.

He also went into detail about his rap career, how his stage name was Mr. Hyde, the evil half of the Jekyll-Hyde literary duo although he didn't know the history of the name.

The day of the shooting, he couldn't remember how he got to Beaumont from Houston. He also said he didn't remember taking hostages at a construction company a few blocks from the courthouse and where he was arrested. He disputed testimony of his former hostages.

Granger said all his gunfire from a 10-round magazine was directed at his daughter and that he couldn't say he ran her over with her truck on purpose although a video played in court confirmed it.

"I did it," he said. "You can't deny it. You can see it on the film."

Shettle also referred to numerous recorded conversations an angry Granger had from jail with relatives, where he threatened judges involved in his case but said the notoriety of the courthouse shooting had made him a "superstar" and "making Texas history." Granger accused the prosecutor of taking the conversations out of context.

Granger's daughter, 22, testified last week that she saw her father run toward her armed with the rifle and start shooting. Witnesses testified that Granger jumped into his pickup truck and ran over his daughter. She testified she didn't see the truck but felt it. She was severely injured and had been shot three times, and she spent three months in a coma.

One of Granger's attorneys, Sonny Cribbs, has said he thinks Granger will be convicted but that he hopes jurors don't sentence him to death.


Defense begins in Beaumont courthouse shooting

April 28, 2013

Defense attorneys will begin making their case for a Houston man accused of opening fire on his daughter and her mother outside a courthouse last year, wounding them both and killing a 79-year-old bystander.

Bartholomew Granger's attorneys chose to wait to make their opening remarks to the jury until prosecutors finished making their case. After listening to witness after witness identify Granger as the gunman who wounded three women and killed Minnie Ray Sebolt, in the March 2012 attack in Beaumont, his attorneys were expected to begin mounting their defense on Monday.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Granger, and his attorneys have not signaled how they plan to defend him or whom they might call to the witness stand. Defense attorney Sonny Cribbs has said he thinks Granger will be convicted, but that he hopes jurors don't sentence him to death. Their other option would be life without parole.

Witnesses began testifying last week in the trial, which is being held in Galveston, about 75 miles from Beaumont, so that jurors wouldn't have to walk past the crime scene every day.

Prosecutors allege that Granger was furious with his daughter, her mother and his estranged wife because they had testified against him in a sexual assault trial taking place at the Jefferson County Courthouse at the time of the shooting. They say that Granger, who pleaded not guilty in that case, waited in his truck for hours on the morning of the attack for the chance to take revenge on the women.

Granger's daughter, 22, testified last week that she saw her father run toward her armed with what prosecutors have described as an assault rifle and begin shooting. A shot to her leg knocked her to the ground.

"I was laying on the pavement and I was looking up at the sky and I felt another shot," she said.

Witnesses testified that Granger jumped into his pickup truck and ran over his daughter. She testified she didn't see the truck but felt it. She was severely injured and had been shot three times, and she spent three months in a coma.

Her mother and another woman were less seriously wounded in the attack, but Sebolt, of Deweyville, died of her wounds on the courthouse steps.

Granger fled and exchanged shots with police until his bullet-riddled truck broke down a few blocks away. Jurors saw a police car dashboard video of his daughter in the street and of him firing at officers. Granger ran inside a construction business and grabbed several employees hostage and threatened to kill them.

One of them, Melvin Bond, testified last week that Granger, who had been wounded by police gunfire, told them what he did and that "he was proud that he had done this."

When Granger became woozy because of his injuries, his hostages overpowered him until police moved in.

One officer said Granger, in an ambulance and at the hospital, told him he had to do the shooting.

"They treat me like a killer, I'm going to act like a killer," Sgt. Mike Custer testified Granger told him. Custer also said Granger had planned to kill himself.


Defense starts Monday in Beaumont courthouse shooting

April 26, 2013

Defense lawyers in the capital murder trial of a man charged with a fatal shooting outside a Southeast Texas courthouse last year will begin their case next week.

Attorneys for 42-year-old Bartholomew Granger told Judge Bob Wortham Friday morning they needed more time to prepare for their opening statements to jurors in the trial that was moved from Beaumont to Galveston. Wortham says he'll resume the trial Monday.

Jefferson County prosecutors finished up their case Thursday, much quicker than expected. It began this past Monday.

Granger faces a possible death sentence if convicted of the slaying of a 79-year-old woman outside the downtown Beaumont courthouse last year. Minnie Ray Sebolt was caught in crossfire as an irate Granger was shooting and wounding his daughter and her mother.


Trial begins in Galveston for man accused of murder in Jefferson Co. courthouse shooting

April 22, 2013

A man meticulously planned before he opened fire on his daughter and her mother outside of the Jefferson County courthouse last year, wounding them both and killing a 79-year-old woman, a prosecutor said Monday at the outset of the man's capital murder trial.

Bartholomew Granger, 42, was angry at his daughter and her mother about testimony against him in a sexual assault trial, Ed Shettle, a Jefferson County assistant district attorney, told jurors in his opening remarks.

"This was calculated, well thought out and it took a long time for this crime to proceed," Shettle said.

Shettle warned jurors that the state's evidence, which is expected to take about two weeks to present, may seem tedious at times, but that it was important.

"It is to make sure when this is all over that this man is going to sit on death row and you all will be eventually comfortable with what you did and it was the right thing to do," he said.

Granger faces the death penalty or life in prison without parole if he's convicted of capital murder in the killing of Minnie Ray Sebolt. The Deweyville woman was accompanying a relative to the courthouse and was caught in the gunfire. Three others, including Granger's daughter and her mother, were wounded.

At Shettle's request, after Granger's lawyers entered an innocent plea for him Monday, Granger himself responded to State District Judge Bob Wortham when asked for his plea.

"Not guilty, your honor," said Granger, who is also charged with retaliating against a witness.

Granger wore a dark suit, light shirt and silver tie. He was not handcuffed or shackled, but an electronic shock belt could be seen under his coat.

His lawyers deferred their opening statements until the state finishes its case.

During his opening remarks, Shettle described what happened on the day of the attack, in which a man he identified as Granger stepped out of his pickup truck before noon and began shooting.

"This is not a case of mistaken identity," Shettle said. "The evidence is going to show, I think, the defendant never left the crime scene. He was arrested within only a short, very short period of time where he was always in sight of law enforcement or people you will hear from during the course of the trial.

"This is not a whodunit."

Shettle said evidence will show Granger got to the courthouse before it opened that morning "and laid in wait for hours for people he thought betrayed him and testified against him."

At about 11:30 a.m., the prosecutor said Granger jumped from his pickup truck, ran to the middle of the street and began shooting with what he described as an assault rifle.

Granger's daughter was shot three times. Shettle said Granger then turned the gun toward her mother as the woman was running.

"He struck poor little Miss Sebolt through the femoral arteries of her legs, shot twice as she tried to get through the revolving door of the courthouse," Shettle said. "Within seconds, she was lying in a pool of blood in the courthouse."

The prosecutor said Granger got back into his truck, ran over his wounded daughter and drove off, exchanging fire with police. His truck became disabled a few blocks away where he fled into a construction business and grabbed hostages.

"One brave man there, he kicked the hell out of him and disarmed the guy," Shettle said.

State District Judge John Stevens, the first prosecution witness, testified about the chaos in the courthouse. He was at a clerk's office where a wounded woman was being treated. He recognized her as the mother of the woman who had testified the previous day in his courtroom in a trial in which Granger was accused of sexual misconduct nine years earlier.

"I asked her: Who shot you?" he said. "And she told me."

He did not name Granger from the witness stand.

A legal assistant to a Beaumont attorney representing Granger at the sexual misconduct trial testified that Granger had called her the previous day, crying, and that he had used an epithet to describe Stevens and said the judge was allowing witnesses to lie on the stand about him.

Chelle Warwick said she managed to calm Granger, but that he told her: "I would take care of it tomorrow."

Both sides agreed to move the trial to Galveston, 75 miles southwest of Beaumont, primarily so jurors wouldn't have to walk by the crime scene each day. A judge declared a mistrial in his sexual misconduct case one month after the shootings due to heightened attention following the attacks.


Four shot, one killed outside Jefferson County Courthouse

March 15, 2012

A Houston man at court with family members opened fire outside a southeast Texas courthouse Wednesday, killing one person and wounding at least three others before briefly taking hostages at a nearby business, police said.

The 41-year-old gunman had been inside the Jefferson County Courthouse in Beaumont but went out to his pickup truck shortly after 11am, drew a weapon and began shooting, police said. He has been identified as Bartholomew Granger, from Houston.

A detective outside the courthouse fired back. He quickly was joined by law enforcement officers from nearby buildings, police said.

Officials say Granger retreated to his truck and, still firing, ran over his 20-year-old daughter, who had also been shot. He drove about three blocks and abandoned his truck in the middle of the street before entering a nearby construction business, police said.

Granger was taken into custody by Beaumont police SWAT officers at noon.

Authorities say Granger was on trial at the Criminal District Court for aggravated sexual assault. Two of the shooting victims, including his daughter, were witnesses in the case.

The trial began yesterday. Granger's daughter had already testified, and was scheduled for rebuttal testimony today.

Minnie Ray Seabolt, 79, was pronounced dead at the scene, in front of the courthouse main entrance. She was from Deweyville, Texas.

With hostages inside, the gunman spoke by phone to police and told them he was wounded. He eventually surrendered and was taken to an area hospital.

Granger was treated and released. He is currently in the Jefferson County Jail, charged with one count of murder. His bond on the aggravated sexual assault charge was revoked.

"It was crazy," Beaumont Police Chief Jimmy Singletary said. "He was shooting. Our guys were shooting. It was a classic shootout."

A pickup truck riddled with at least a dozen bullet holes remained in the middle of the street Wednesday afternoon.

James Gibson, one of the owners of Richard Construction, said about 50 to 60 employees were inside when the gunman entered. An assault rifle believed to belong to the gunman remained in the building, Gibson said.

Authorities declined to identify the type of weapon the gunman used.

"It was pandemonium," Judge Larry Gist, whose office is across the street from the main courthouse building, said as he described how law enforcement flooded the scene as soon as the shots rang out.

Ricky Gandy said he went to the window of his office at LJA Engineering, which overlooks the parking lot next to the Beaumont Police department, after hearing a "pop, pop, pop."

He saw police shooting at a pickup truck as it came out of the parking lot, but the driver "never really got in a hurry."

"Once it started, it was kind of like the Fourth of July," Gandy added. "Several shots, I imagine, I'm guessing at least 30 shots all together."

At last check, Granger's 20-year-old daughter was in critical condition. Her mother and another shooting victim were treated at area hospitals and released.

Seven Beaumont police officers and two Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies who engaged Granger with gunfire are currently on administrative leave. They were not injured.

Moments after a news conference about the shooting, Jefferson County deputies arrested Lyndon Granger, the brother of the alleged Jefferson County Courthouse shooter, on an old charge of sexual assault. Authorities say he is accused of sexually assaulting the same girl as Bartholomew Granger. He was out on bond but a judge issued a warrant for his arrest. It's not known exactly why the judge made that move, but sources tell us it is in part to protect the public going forward.

Congressman Ted Poe issued the following statement:

    "I am deeply saddened by the shooting in Beaumont today. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and the loved ones of the innocent bystanders who lost their lives, and I am praying for a speedy recovery for those who are wounded. As for the shooter, I hope that justice is swift and punishment is harsh."

Beaumont is about 80 miles east of Houston.



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