WWDD - What would the Duke Do?
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” ~John Wayne
Temple – When M/Sgt. C.J. Grisham showed up at the Temple Police Department to get his Kimber semi-auto .45 ACP pistol and a Blackjack Firearms AR-15 confiscated on March 16, they told him to come back with some “evidence.”
Evidence of what?
The world saw a couple of police officers take the weapons and stash them in the trunk of a patrol car when they arrested him; the arrest was depicted on both his camera, which he struggled to hand off to his son Chris, Jr., and a dashcam video with which the car is outfitted.
And then they brought out both items to publish as evidence for jurors on two panels who sat in judgment of whether he had interfered with the duties of a public official, a misdemeanor offense.
In the first trial, the panel deadlocked. A mistrial resulted. In the second trial, jurors were able to quickly reach a unanimous verdict of guilt when the judge revised his jury instruction. They concluded that he had, in fact, put his hands on the rifle when the officer made a move to take it away from him.
He stands convicted, fined $2,000 for the Class B misdemeanor offense.
|Officer Ermis skins his smoke wagon...|
All concerned agree – it's not a gun offense. It's a case of disorderly conduct, promenading down a rural road with a loaded rifle and pistol, then becoming disagreeable and loud when Officer Steve Ermis determined he would disarm him, jammed the muzzle of a pistol into the back of his neck and bent him over the hood of the cop car. He and his son were on a 10-mile hike in pursuit of a Boy Scout merit badge. They chose to walk along Prairie View Road and Hwy. 36 near the Temple Airport.
“Prosecutors claimed it wasn't a gun case yet paraded my guns through the courtroom, had the officer show how "easy" it would be "if" I decided to use my rifle to shoot him or others, incessantly brought up the fact that we were hiking near an airport and school (the school was closed and I live literally 10 feet from the airport fence and shoot in my front yard), and made a point of explaining to the jury that "normal" people don't hunt with and AR-15 (umm, I do!).”
He returned, and the cops told him he would have to make a quick run to Belton to see County Attorney Jim Nichols.
Mr. Nichols demanded that he obtain a court order by having his attorney file a motion showing cause why he should be restored to the possession of his weapons.
“I have the phone conversation recorded where TPD is telling me that Jim Nichols' office said they will only speak to my attorney,” said Sgt. Grisham.
But there's a back story, here, and it emerged today as he answered questions on the Open Carry Texas Facebook site.
In multiple plea bargain offers, the prosecutors suggested he could get his guns back and pay only a small fine if he would only plead guilty. “I don't take the guilty plea,” he replied. They also suggested he could always just leave Bell County to make the entire problem go away.
Grisham wouldn't hear of it.
Asked why he won't consider just going into court with his attorney, he replied, “David, they WANT me to use my attorney so it costs me more money. I'm going to get my guns back without my attorney because I'm not going to play their game. I won't submit to their corporate system.”
He elaborated, saying he intends to approach the media and the Commissioners Court, seeking relief.
“Bell County Attorney Jim Nichols is up to his typical anti-gun agenda. He is refusing to return my firearms to me, in spite of the fact that - according to their own testimony during the trial - this isn't a gun case. TPD said they don't have possession of my guns and I had to call the prosecutors office. However, TPD was told to convey to me that they wouldn't be giving back my guns and that I couldn't demand them back, to have my attorney do that (presumably so they can tell HIM they aren't giving them back). They are still in possession of stolen property: my Kimber .45 Ultra Carry Pro, Blackjack Firearms AR-15 Serial #0003, and my SERPA holster.”