Belton, Texas – Following a first day of his second trial for a misdemeanor charge of interfering with an officer when Temple Police stripped him of his AR-15 assault rifle on March 16, M/Sgt. C.J. Grisham reported about 10:15 p.m. Central time that he is dissolving the board of Open Carry Texas, Inc.
The first trial ended in October when jurors deadlocked on the verdict and were unable to reconcile to deliver a unanimous verdict of conviction or acquittal. Visiting Judge Neel D. Richardson declared a mistrial.
In today's action at trial, a jury of three men and three women were seated, two of whom are black, two white and two Hispanic. They head testimony from the arresting officer, Steve Ermis, of the Temple Police Department.
The on-line organization Grisham founded to spread his story has served as a conduit for contributions to his defense fund and a rallying point for open carry demonstrations throughout the state, at the State Capitol, and various cities. He has also served as a spokesman for Self Defense Fund.com, a legal representation insurance company headed by Larry Keilberg of Ft. Worth. Mr. Keilberg boasts of furnishing up to one million dollars in defense funding to any member charged with a firearms-related offense in any state, territory, national park or tribal land.
|Larry Keilberg, SelfDefense.com|
Sgt. Grisham gave this statement via his Facebook.com page - “I've dissolved the board. I will be selecting a new board shortly. If you'd like to help continue the course we are on and are motivated and well-spoken, please contact me.”
Great controversy erupted on Sunday evening when he made a statement of apology directed at Mothers Demand Action, an anti-gun group of women who were meeting at a Ft. Worth Mexican restaurant when a chapter of Open Carry Texas led by District 6 Congressional Candidate Kory Watkins stopped in the parking lot during an armed walk, bearing assault weapons.
At least one member of the group contacted a media outlet for the national press, and the story went viral overnight, garnering ink in publications nationwide as diverse as USA Today and the Dallas Morning News, which denounced the group in columnist Steve Blow's daily offering.
Sgt. Grisham offered a $100 gift certificate for lunch at Blue Mesa Restaurant and a solemn promise that the group will not arrive at events sponsored by the mother's group in the future.
Members of the board rose up in fury and denounced his actions.