Grissett murder trial postponed until Monday

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By Sam Hickman

BOLIVIA — The trial of Richard Grissett, who charged with first-degree murder in the death of 86-year-old Linnie Mae Ward, has been postponed until next week because the judge fell ill, Assistant District Attorney Lee Bollinger said.

Grissett, 52, is accused of beating Ward to death with his hands during an alleged burglary at her Longwood home in November 2012.

Judge Wayland Sermons became sick and notified the Brunswick County District Attorney’s Office on Thursday morning, April 3.

When court resumes Monday, April 7, Sermons will hear a motion to suppress before opening statements begin. Grissett’s lawyer, Mike Ramos of Shallotte, seeks to remove all photographs showing Ward from evidence.

Once Sermons determines whether the photos are admissible, the prosecution will make its opening statement.

Ramos said he doesn’t know if he will make an opening statement or reserve it until he begins his case for the defense.

The trial, which began Monday, March 31, is expected to last about two weeks. After a two-day suppression hearing, jury selection began just after 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 2, and lasted until 5 p.m. The jury is comprised of seven men and five women, with two alternate jurors. The group was chosen from a pool of 75 candidates.

Grissett faces life in prison without parole if convicted, District Attorney Jon David said. David is prosecuting the case with Bollinger.

Grissett has also been charged with first-degree burglary and possession of a firearm by a felon in this case.


Sam Hickman is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or shickman@brunswickbeacon.com.