Grisham Promises to Appeal Conviction
Master Sgt. Sgt. Christopher “C.J.” Grisham was fined $2,000 but avoided jail time after being found guilty of interfering with the duties of a police officer, but Grisham vowed to appeal before the verdict was even delivered.
Before the jury returned to deliver his sentence, Grisham said he would appeal his conviction and that he had contacted the National Rifle Association about securing funds to aid in his defense. However, he did not say if the organization would cooperate.
New details of the trial have also emerged, including testimony from an investigator hired by the prosecution to keep tabs on Grisham’s activities and those of members of Open Carry Texas, an organization that has aided Grisham since his arrest became news.
Joe Medrano testified that he believed Grisham used a cell phone video of his arrest and sympathy from gun rights organizations as a means of personal fundraising, raising nearly $52,000. When asked if he believed Grisham had used national media exposure to push his political views, Medrano said yes.
The defense relied on character witnesses, including Grisham’s wife and oldest daughter, a fellow church member and a former pen pal he’d corresponded with while stationed in Iraq. Grisham’s wife testified that she felt her family had been punished enough after eight months of dealing with the fallout of Grisham’s arrest. His daughter testified that her father going to prison would rob her of precious time with him as she prepared to graduate from high school and move out of the family’s home.
Grisham was found guilty of interfering with the duties of a police officer, a Class B misdeamor. He faced up to 180 days in jail had the jury not waived that punishment. Grisham was arrested on March 16 after a concerned citizen called police after spotting Grisham openly carrying an AR-15 rifle while hiking with his son. Grisham and the responding officer, Steve Ermis, got into a heated argument after Grisham questioned the reason for his being stopped.