Juvenile capital murder defendant appears in court

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A 17-year-old who has been certified to stand trial as an adult for capital murder in Bowie County appeared in court Thursday afternoon.

Antonio Grigsby Jr. was 15 when he allegedly got a ride from Christopher Cross, 20, to an apartment complex at 39 Riverbend in the Liberty Eylau area Dec. 22, 2019. Grigsby allegedly arranged to meet Amilleon Jackson, 18, to purchase marijuana though Grigsby carried a weapon and had allegedly spoken of robbing Jackson.

Jackson was shot five times in the back, according to a probable cause affidavit. Grigsby allegedly sent text messages after the shooting boasting that he “popped him five times.”

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Grigsby was certified to stand trial as an adult following a hearing in juvenile court in May 2020. The case is now pending before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell.

Both Grigsby and Cross have been indicted by a Bowie County grand jury for capital murder but they are not facing the same punishment.

Usually capital murder is punishable by death or life without parole in Texas. Juveniles are not eligible for the death penalty and if convicted of capital murder they are eligible for parole after 40 years.

The state is not seeking the death penalty for Cross so if he is convicted of capital murder he faces life without parole. His case has not been scheduled for trial.

Grigsby’s case is set for jury selection next week.

At a hearing for Grigsby on Thursday afternoon at the Bi-State Justice Center in downtown Texarkana, First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp and Grigsby’s attorney, Jeff Harrelson of Texarkana, discussed what evidence the jury will hear and other pretrial issues.

Tidwell said jury selection will occur Tuesday at the Texarkana Convention Center in Texarkana, Texas. The trial is scheduled to begin Wednesday at the Bowie County courthouse in New Boston.

Grigsby was moved from a juvenile detention center in Gregg County to the Bowie County jail after his 17th birthday last week.

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