For those of you who have been following CJ’s story on The Blaze, Todd Starnes, and other sites, on 31 July, CJ had a pretrial hearing. The following are a few articles and links where you can follow what happened. I think the Temple Daily is a paid subscription.
Danford pointed out that the area on Airport Road included a couple of schools, part of an airfield and a fire station, and Ermis termed the area not rural, but “rural-type.” Harrell countered later that it was a Saturday and there was no school in session, and that Grisham was stopped on another road in a rural setting, not Airport Road.
Both the prosecution and defense questioned Ermis on why Grisham was arrested and the process used in the arrest. Ermis said he tried to take the weapon from Grisham because of the way he was carrying the rifle, in front in a combat-type position, which merited a charge of disorderly conduct displaying a firearm.
Ermis said he felt he was in danger while approaching Grisham and felt threatened when he saw the weapon Grisham was carrying. However, the defense later pointed out that Ermis didn’t tell Grisham he was a Temple Police officer or give his name. Ermis also testified he didn’t check to see if Grisham could legally carry the rifle and concealed handgun before arresting him. Debate also centered on where Grisham’s hands were during the entire process.
Danford noted that Grisham could have been arrested on a Class C traffic offense for walking on the wrong side of the road. He was first arrested for resisting arrest, but the county attorney’s office later changed the charge to interfering with the duties of a peace officer.
A police dash cam video from the incident with Grisham showed he and his son moving from the middle to the right side of the road. The video was shown during Wednesday’s hearing to Judge Neal Richardson and Officer Steven Ermis, who arrested Grisham because he reportedly resisted when Ermis attempted to take his AR-15 rifle away from him.
Neither the police report, complaint nor arrest affidavit written by Ermis after the arrest mentioned that Grisham was walking on the incorrect side of the road.
The prosecuting attorney, Danford, quoted several case laws at the hearing that he said proved Ermis had probable cause or a reasonable suspicion to arrest Grisham, including State vs. Patterson, a Texas appeals case that ruled the courts look at the totality of circumstances to determine if there is reasonable suspicion or probable cause for an arrest.
Wednesday’s hearing addressed a defense motion to suppress the arrest. A ruling on the motion will come sometime after next week when defense co-counsel Paul Harrell submits an additional brief arguing against case law used by the county’s attorney, Mark Danford. If the motion is granted, the arrest no longer stands and the consequent charges are no longer applicable. If the motion is denied, the case moves forward to trial, presumably in mid- to late September.
Also discussed at the hearing was a defense motion for discovery of additional exculpatory evidence not previously provided to the defense. With this, a recording of the non-emergency call to police regarding Grisham’s roadside presence and the police dash cam video documenting the arrest were played in open court.