New Trial Date Set In Case Of Soldier At Center Of Gun-Rights Debate

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BELTON (October 20, 2013)—A new trial date has been set in the trial of Army Master Sgt. Christopher "C.J." Grisham of Temple, whose case has drawn the attention of gun-rights advocates nationwide.

Army Master Sgt. Christopher "C.J." Grisham after the mistrial was declared Friday. (Photo by Nick Delgado)

Grisham's new trial has been scheduled for November 18th in Bell County.

However, Grisham's defense attorney plans to request a change of venue and a new judge to oversee the case.

A mistrial was declared in his case on Friday after jurors deadlocked Friday following two full days of deliberation.

Grisham expressed frustration Friday of having to go through the ordeal of a trial because of the “actions of an abusive police officer.”

He called the mistrial the closest thing to a not-guilty verdict.

Prosecutors didn't immediately say whether they would retry him.

The six-member jury started deliberating the misdemeanor case Thursday morning after both sides rested Wednesday afternoon.

Grisham was arrested in March 2013 after police received a report about a man who was carrying an assault-style rifle while walking along Airport Road in West Temple.

Grisham told the responding officers he was just walking with his son to help him get a Boy Scout Badge, but police confiscated the rifle and arrested him after the encounter his son recorded on camera.

The video shot by Grisham’s son quickly went viral and the arrest triggered a series of demonstrations.

Grisham was charged with misdemeanor interference with the duties of an officer.

"I don't think it's fair that I'm even being charged with this crime," Grisham said before the start of the trial Tuesday.

"The fact that I'm here in court for one I don't think that's very fair to begin with because my son and I weren't doing anything wrong."

"I think after the facts speak for themselves I'll be set free,” he said.

"You can't let the police make up the rules as they go," said Keith Lee, a member of Open Carry Texas who showed up to support Grisham.

"Somebody has to stand up and say enough is enough."

Grisham said he was just relieved the trial is underway after seven months of waiting.

"I hope that it inspires them to understand that you don't have to sit back," Grisham said.

"It's a hard road obviously but hopefully after this is over there will be some training done in the police force to where it doesn't happen again to someone else."