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Thread: Mistrial declared in Central Texas case watched by gun-rights advocates

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    Mistrial declared in Central Texas case watched by gun-rights advocates

    http://www.dallasnews.com/news/local...-advocates.ece

    BELTON — A mistrial was declared Friday in a Texas case against a soldier carrying his assault rifle on a hike, in a proceeding that was being closely watched by gun-rights advocates.

    The six-person jury in Belton was deadlocked after two days of deliberations Thursday and Friday.

    Army Master Sgt. Christopher Grisham, who was charged with misdemeanor interference with the duties of an officer, declared victory afterward. Grisham was arrested in March by a Temple police officer responding to a report that Grisham was carrying an assault rifle while hiking with his 15-year-old son for a Boy Scouts merit badge.


    Grisham said he was driven by the fear that a conviction or guilty plea in the case would create “ripple effects” for gun owners elsewhere, “if we’re allowing our police officers to go around stealing people’s weapons for no reason.”

    He was defended by Blue Rannefeld, an attorney for the National Association of Legal Gun Defense.

    Grisham, who’s stationed at Fort Hood, was carrying an AR-15 rifle and a concealed handgun, for which he had a permit. Texas law allows for rifles to be carried in public.

    Court documents say Grisham tried to prevent Ermis from taking his rifle and later resisted as the officer attempted to place Grisham’s hands behind his back. Prosecutor John Gantt Jr. told jurors that Grisham refused to follow Ermis’ orders.

    Grisham’s son used his cellphone to record the confrontation.
    This should have never gone to trial.
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    Regular Member FreeInAZ's Avatar
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    OMG! To have half of the juror's go along with the DA & think be was guilty shows how flawed our "injustice" system is. Not doubt in my mind this very ANTI-2A DA will push for a re-trial. He has too much face to lose. So the good soldier will have to endure again, and pay again (legal fees), which is exactly what his local LE & DA want. To teach him a costly lesson, which is: "Do as we say & screw what the law says, we make up the laws as our opinions are well, more important to us!" Dirtbags a plenty in TEXASS.
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    Not much to go on, but it sounds a bit like he's being charged for contempt of cop.

    This fella has quite an archive: http://archive.lewrockwell.com/grigg/grigg-w110.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeInAZ View Post
    OMG! To have half of the juror's go along with the DA & think be was guilty shows how flawed our "injustice" system is. Not doubt in my mind this very ANTI-2A DA will push for a re-trial. ...
    It was a six-man jury. Only one of them, supposedly the wife of a cop (from the defendant's comments), refused to acquit him. I doubt the DA will try again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    It was a six-man jury. Only one of them, supposedly the wife of a cop (from the defendant's comments), refused to acquit him. I doubt the DA will try again.
    Does her being a wife of a cop show bias in a case where cops clearly overreached their authority.
    Last edited by zack991; 10-20-2013 at 04:58 PM.
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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    One would certainly think so! Caveat: I am only passing along a rumor that someone says was on the victim/defendant's Facebook page.
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    Regular Member We-the-People's Avatar
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    My understanding from reading stories posted by the defendants supporters is that they determined from a juror interview that there was one holdout who would not acquit because (paraphrasing from memory) "you have to follow the order of a cop no matter what".

    I haven't read anything about that juror being the wife of a cop and think it highly unlikely that such a juror would survive voir dire without a for cause challenge by the defense and that challenge being granted by the judge with no objections from the prosecution. In a case where the defense argument is that the cop overstepped his authority a cops wife, retired cop, wife of retired cop....anyone with an active or retired cop in their immediate family......I can't envision that potential juror being allowed to survive voir dire once that relationship is discovered.
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    Regular Member skeith5's Avatar
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    Unfortunately there was only one person who wanted to acquit, 5 of the people found him guilty. There were comments made on his Facebook page that indicated there was only one person who found him guilty but this is not true. I'm sure he was told it was 5 to 1 and the assumption was made that the 5 were for a not guilty ruling.

    He's going to have a hard time with a retrial which, from what I've been told, typically favors the prosecutor.

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeith5 View Post
    Unfortunately there was only one person who wanted to acquit, 5 of the people found him guilty. There were comments made on his Facebook page that indicated there was only one person who found him guilty but this is not true. I'm sure he was told it was 5 to 1 and the assumption was made that the 5 were for a not guilty ruling.

    He's going to have a hard time with a retrial which, from what I've been told, typically favors the prosecutor.
    And your information, which is at odds with what everyone else has reported..... comes from where?

    I'd be interested in reading a link supporting your post.

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    Regular Member skeith5's Avatar
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    http://watchdogwire.com/texas/2013/1...-grisham-case/

    Here's just one of the many articles talking about the trial.

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    Regular Member FreeInAZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeith5 View Post
    http://watchdogwire.com/texas/2013/1...-grisham-case/

    Here's just one of the many articles talking about the trial.

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    Sadly, it looks like the DA in Bell Co. will get a conviction in the next trial. Thank God 1 of the 6 juror's had the stomach to stand on the principal not to convict on a bogus charge spawned from bogus law. This is a clear cut case of teaching a "lesson" to the accussed via a misuse of the legal system. Why not? It's not their money their wasting anyhow.
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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    "The jury was hung because “one individual did not feel Grisham’s acts were pronounced enough to constitute resisting, interfering, impeding or disrupting,” Cotterill said."
    .....vs.....
    But, according to what Nichols said, a juror named L.J. Cotterill misinformed the public when he said in a post-trial interview that five held out for acquittal, while only one juror voted to convict. Cotterill could not be reached for comment.
    Two contradictory statements supposedly coming from one individual. So far, the only individual mentioned either way, I believe. Until the judge in the case releases the documents (normally available to the public) I'll reserve judgement.

    Unfortunately---
    None of the records of this case are available to the public. County Attorney Jim Nichols says any time a case is open and pending, its records are sealed - in this case, he told an investigator, by the judge's order.

    However, the County Attorney, the custodian of those records, when handed a written request for the court order sealing them, said she has no such order on file.

    Court officials have similarly excluded the public from the courtroom.
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    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 10-30-2013 at 02:45 PM.

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    Texas is a strong gun rights state but unfortunately states like that are also very pro-law enforcement.

    In California my friend has been arrested 4 times on pc 148 charges (interfering, obstructing or delaying PO) and not once has he even been taken to trial because in CA people don't like the police very much.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onus View Post
    Texas is a strong gun rights state ...
    Cite, please!

    Just kidding.

    But seriously, they are actually not as "pro gun" as their reputation would lead one to believe. Now, to their credit, they are extremely pro-self-defense and property-defense.

    But any state that says the only way to carry a gun in public is to be fingerprinted and licensed, and further restricts that the firearm must remain hidden at all times, is just not "pro gun" in my book. It's not anti-gun, just not pro.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    Cite, please!

    Just kidding.

    But seriously, they are actually not as "pro gun" as their reputation would lead one to believe. Now, to their credit, they are extremely pro-self-defense and property-defense.

    But any state that says the only way to carry a gun in public is to be fingerprinted and licensed, and further restricts that the firearm must remain hidden at all times, is just not "pro gun" in my book. It's not anti-gun, just not pro.
    Texas has changed in the last 20 years .. used to be you could be drinking a PBR and be carrying ... they best be careful or they'll turn into a pansy state...

    whats better than a gun and PBR? not too much.

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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Court officials have similarly excluded the public from the courtroom.

    Why on earth would they do this? And how can it be legal?
    There's no child involved, nothing of national security interest, what's their excuse?
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    Texas has changed in the last 20 years .. used to be you could be drinking a PBR and be carrying ... they best be careful or they'll turn into a pansy state...

    whats better than a gun and PBR? not too much.
    Go away, disinfo troll.

    Twenty years ago in Texas, you could not legally carry a handgun period.

    Thirty years ago you could legally drink a PBR while driving in Texas, so long as you weren't actually intoxicated. At the age of 18, even. That's got exactly as much to do with Texas gun laws as your stupid comment.

    Traffic violations in Texas are all Class C Misdemeanors, or higher. There are only two that are specifically exempt from custodial arrest: speeding, and open container.

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    Regular Member Black_water's Avatar
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    I don't ever "get into it" with cops at the scene, I always figured the time to argue was in court, even though juries are usually stupid etc. I am not sure I would have gotten into that tug of war at the scene.

    Glad it worked out though.

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    Regular Member We-the-People's Avatar
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    From reading the account of the juror who said it was 5 for conviction it would appear that this case would have been prime for reversal on appeal. It's also an excellent example of why jury instructions should be required to included jury nullification information.
    The jury is NOT tasked only with deciding a question that the court puts to them but also with judging the legitimacy of the law and the charges themselves. They are perfectly within their rights to decide that yes, a defendant did commit the acts with which he is charged but also to find that even though the law says that is a crime, that the defendant is NOT guilty of a crime because the law is wrong or that it simply doesn't apply in the case at hand.

    That is the job and the duty of the jury.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_water View Post
    I don't ever "get into it" with cops at the scene, I always figured the time to argue was in court...
    And what do you do when the cops at the scene decide to "get into it" with you, even if you're not?

    That seems to be what happened with Grisham's case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    And what do you do when the cops at the scene decide to "get into it" with you, even if you're not?

    That seems to be what happened with Grisham's case.
    There was a lot of mutual "gettin' into it." Just go into the whole am-I-free-to-go routine. When someone argues with you, you don't have to argue back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    And what do you do when the cops at the scene decide to "get into it" with you, even if you're not?

    That seems to be what happened with Grisham's case.
    "At the scene" the cops are always going to win, always. I would much rather comply and fight in court than get "Rodney Kinged" or whatever.

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    Regular Member We-the-People's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_water View Post
    "At the scene" the cops are always going to win, always. I would much rather comply and fight in court than get "Rodney Kinged" or whatever.
    If they're in "I'm the boss and I'm not listening" mode, yeah, you can't beat the ride.

    However, if they are actually listening, which some will do, then it could be worth a calm discussion if you're really confident in your position being correct. I don't think the majority of the time that this will work. Particularly when you assert your rights and they show that they just don't care...or know what they are.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_water View Post
    "At the scene" the cops are always going to win, always. I would much rather comply and fight in court than get "Rodney Kinged" or whatever.
    Very true. Plus, you cant really debate/argue with patrol officers. They are just robots who aren't capable of thinking for themselves and understanding logic or reason.

    The best thing to do is remain silent and collect your check after they falsely arrest you.

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onus View Post
    Very true. Plus, you cant really debate/argue with patrol officers. They are just robots who aren't capable of thinking for themselves and understanding logic or reason.

    The best thing to do is remain silent and collect your check after they falsely arrest you.
    Assuming the judge in the case doesn't ignore precedent and make a poorly-reasoned decision based on politics and not jurisprudence.

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