Conroe man gets life in prison for murder of Joaquin motel housekeeper

Bobby Grubbs (Source: Shelby County Sheriff's Office)
Bobby Grubbs (Source: Shelby County Sheriff's Office)
Deedra Grubbs (Source: Montgomery County Sheriff's Office)
Deedra Grubbs (Source: Montgomery County Sheriff's Office)
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

CENTER, TX (KTRE) - A Conroe man received an automatic life sentence on Monday after a Shelby County jury found him guilty of killing a housekeeper and injuring two others at a shooting incident at a Joaquin motel in April 2012.

According to Shelby County court records, Bobbie Dewayne Grubbs was found guilty of capital murder and two charges of aggravated assault. He received an automatic sentence of life without parole because the state chose not to pursue the death penalty.

"The question was not if he did it; the question was why he did it," said John R. Smith, a defense attorney.

In addition, the jury handed down two life sentences for Grubbs' aggravated assault charges.

"After some success at the appellate level, Mr. Grubbs is going to be three hots in the cot until the day he dies," Smith said.

Bobbie Grubbs' ex-wife, Deedra Grubbs, is accused of acting as her husband's accomplice during the violent crime, and she was also charged with capital murder. Deedra Grubbs' jury trial is scheduled for May 27.

The shooting incident occurred at the Country Inn in Joaquin on the morning of April 27, 2012. Montgomery County authorities arrested the couple later that day after they spotted the suspects' vehicle.

Smith says Grubbs told him he had taken some sort of bath salt called "Puppet Powder."

"He alleges that over some time, he took 10 dosages and became psychotic," Smith said. "[He] told me from the get-go that this is not something that he would ordinarily do, but I don't know anyone who would ordinarily shoot three people with the intent to kill them because he thought they were dead when he left the motel rooms."

In a previous East Texas News story, then-Shelby County Sheriff Newton Johnson said Bobbie Grubbs spent the night at the Country Inn and shot three people who worked at the motel.

One woman, who was later identified as Martha Soceredoi, 37, died at the scene and two others were injured, Johnson said. One was taken to a Shreveport hospital, and another was treated at a Center hospital. All three employees were housekeepers.

The day before the shooting incident, authorities say a female accomplice, identified as 39-year-old Deedra Michelle Grubbs, knocked on the door of a home where she had previously been employed as a housekeeper and began chatting with the homeowner. Bobbie Grubbs then forced his way into the home and police say both suspects assaulted the homeowner, tied her up, and burglarized the home.

On the day of the shooting incident, Joaquin ISD Superintendent Phil Worsham had his school campus, which is less than a half-mile from the motel, on lockdown.

Johnson said the initial investigation did not indicate the wife was involved, but they later determined she was involved in the shootings.

Johnson said they stole one of the victim's cars and money from the lobby cash register. Because they were in the act of another felony during a murder, their charges are upgraded to capital murder, punishable by lethal injection or a life sentence in prison without parole.

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