BELTON — After 16 hours of deliberation Friday, a jury of four men and two women were unable to agree on the guilt or innocence of Army Master Sgt. Christopher “C.J.” Grisham.

About 4:30 p.m., Grisham and his attorney, Blue Rannefeld, emerged from the courtroom with their hands clasped and arms raised high to announce the judge declared a mistrial.

Because of the deadlock, Grisham will be retried Nov. 18 on a charge of interfering with the duties of a Temple police officer. He was arrested March 16 while on a 10-mile hike with his son, Chris, for a Boy Scout merit badge.

Grisham carried an AR-15 rifle and a concealed handgun, for which he had a permit. Grisham said he was carrying the weapons for protection against wild animals in the area.

Outside the courtroom, Grisham and Rannefeld were greeted with hugs and applause from a dozen or so supporters and courthouse regulars, many of whom came bearing toothbrushes to show that, like Rannefeld, they were willing to risk going to jail for a contempt-of-court charge to protest what they saw as Judge Neel Richardson’s favoritism toward prosecuting attorney John Gauntt Jr.

Rannefeld said the length of time the jury deliberated showed that Grisham committed no crime.

“We went out there to do a 10-mile hike,” Grisham said at a post-verdict news conference. “There wasn’t any law broken.”

Grisham said he has no plans to accept any plea offers in order to avoid a second, third or fourth trial.

“I will go through this as many times as the county wants,” Grisham said. “I will fight for liberty and freedom.”

Rannefeld said he hopes the issue of being able to openly carry a rifle or shotgun, which is not strictly prohibited under Texas law nor explicitly allowed, will be clarified by the Legislature.

Grisham said he plans to turn the nationwide support network that has emerged since his arrest into a lobbying organization to push for changes to state law. He specifically wants to see police departments implement training for how to handle individuals openly carrying rifles and shotguns in order to prevent this from happening again, he said.

While Grisham is prepared for another trial, he said he hopes it won’t happen. “We’re hoping common sense prevails.”

The county attorney’s office will decide whether to drop the charges or to go ahead with a second trial, Rannefeld said.

County Attorney Jim Nichols would not comment beyond saying the case is scheduled for retrial Nov. 18.

(10) comments


Oh, and by the way: Come to find out, Mr. Grisham wasn't even charged for carrying his rifle. It's my understanding he was not charged for a weapons related charge at all, so all this arguing about the violation of his 2nd Amendment right is unnecessary.


the case has nothing to do with legally carrying long arms. The matter is whether or not the attitudes displayed meet the standard for interfering with an officer.


@Dr Strangelove: I'm very much familiar with the gun laws in this State. And I did comment it was okay for Mr. Grisham to walk around with his guns if he must, but then not to be surprised if others are alarmed by him doing so (since it is unusual), and call the Police.
You also stated you are a CHL holder who was trained to hand over your weapon if asked by the Police, and other than THAT he (meaning Mr. Grisham) did not break any laws. So you are saying that he DID break the law by not identifying himself as a CHL holder. So if he DID break the law... what's the problem here?
And by the way, I only drive one car at a time to work, I do not require two or three.

@Texas: This is the standard answer... if you don't agree, just move!!! Why can there never be a disagreement? I have a job and pay taxes in this State. This is also MY State. I drive my ONE car to work, consume gasoline and other products that help this State's growth. And yet you feel I need to leave just because I don't agree with you? You guys want to exercise your 2nd Amendment right and get annoyed if it's being called into question, but Heaven forbid someone else is exercising his 1st Amendment right and calls your way of life into question. Then it's time to leave. Doesn't make any sense to me.
Yes, he does have the right to openly carry his rifle, but should take into consideration that it will cause others to be alarmed - especially with all the shootings we've had at various places in recent years.
You say he's been overseas and exposed to individuals who want to kill him - every day. And that should allow him to do what he did. What about that Police Officer? He is exposed to that very same threat every day for years and years. Is he not also entitled to that same fear?
Let's not forget, the Officer was called by a citizen to engage Mr. Grisham. Not like he just drove by and saw Mr. Grisham walk around, and decided to harass him. The cop was just doing his job. Mr. Grisham has rights, but so do the citizens of Temple who deserve police assistance when calling 911.


Oh boy! we now are entering the time of our lives when some guy can hang out by the curb on a public street in front of a grade school dressed like some kind of deer slayer and holding a AR-15 while staring at people? Long as he just hangs out and doesn't make an aggressive scene he is perfectly legal? Wow what a role model while parents are going ballistic. That's whats coming folks! Wait and see!

Doc Merlin

5 of the 6 voted for innocence. One voted against. The story I heard was that there was a cop's wife on the jury.


@Disgusted, specifically which law was broken? Would you want to be arrested for not breaking the law? Your argument has no validity. No reason has to be given for openly carrying a weapon, when it is within the law. If you are scared to see someone openly carrying a weapon, you must be terrified to go outside your house and think about all of the people that have concealed weapons. As far as how many guns are needed, as many as necessary is the answer.


What an idiot. Not once during the stop did he mention he needed the weapons for protection. Now all of the sudden he decided to come up with this BS story about protection, now that it went to trial. And how many guns do you need to protect yourself? He must be a bad shot.
It is my belief he intentionally pushed the issue just to get a Police response. Why else did he have the camera ready to roll??? And now he will sue the police department which will cost the tax payers thousands of dollars.
Mr. Grisham, yes you have the right to open carry, but as much as you don't like your rights trampled on, please respect others' rights as well who feel alarmed or in fear of your decision to openly carry. Run around with your .45 if you must, but don't push the issue just so you can get money from a law suit. You should be ashamed of yourself for making such a spectacle of yourself! What a nut job.

Dr Strangelove

His son took the video with his cell phone—stop second guessing. How many guns do you need for protection? That’s none of your business it is our right as many as we want. How many cars do you own? You only need one to drive to work; it’s you right to own as many cars as you want. I’m disgusted with people that don’t know the gun laws in this State—get educated before running off at the mouth.

I’m a CHL holder and we are trained if a Law Enforcement Officer asks you for your weapon you must hand it over or they can take the weapon from you that’s the law. Other than that he broke no law.

Doc Merlin

"I’m a CHL holder and we are trained if a Law Enforcement Officer asks you for your weapon you must hand it over or they can take the weapon from you that’s the law. "
- Actually no, thats not the law.


Yes you are right, this man is an idiot & a nut job if there has ever been one! He continuously goes to foreign countries & confronts insane people who are hell bent on killing him & all others whom they believe are like him, (i.e. Americans)

I believe his medals, awards & commendations indicate he has issues. I know this to be true, for I have been there. And yes, at this man’s experience level or age if you will, his marksmanship skills may be slipping enough to warrant more than one defensive arm.

This is Texas, this is how we act. If you dislike the manner in which we conduct ourselves, I respect your right to leave our state. When the 107mm Russian made, Iranian supplied rockets start to fall around you, you will need to feel alarmed or in fear.

Until that day comes please seat down, shut up & color. God bless!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.