Jury selection begins for alleged accomplice in gruesome Shelby County shooting of hotel housekeeper

Deedra Michelle Grubbs (Source: Montgomery County Sheriff's Office)
Deedra Michelle Grubbs (Source: Montgomery County Sheriff's Office)
Bobbie Dewayne Grubbs (Source: Shelby County Sheriff's Office)
Bobbie Dewayne Grubbs (Source: Shelby County Sheriff's Office)

CENTER, TX (KTRE) - Over 50 potential jurors packed the Shelby County Courthouse on Tuesday. It marked the beginning to the end in a two-part trial for a husband-and-wife team accused of murdering a housekeeper and injuring two others at a shooting incident at a Joaquin motel in April 2012.

Deedra Grubbs, 39,  is accused of acting as her husband's accomplice during the violent crime, and is charged with capital murder. Her husband, Bobbie DeWayne Grubbs, was found guilty of capital murder and two charges of aggravated assault on May 19, 2014.

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.

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

In a previous KTRE report, Smith said Grubbs testified 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 room."

In a previous East Texas News story, then-Shelby County Sheriff Newton Johnson said Bobbie Grubbs spent the night at the motel and shot three people who worked at the motel. One women, who was later identified as Martha Acevedo-Chan, 37, died at the scene and two others were injured, Johnson said.

The day before the shooting incident, authorities said Deedra 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 her home.

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

Johnson said the couple 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 have been upgraded to capital murder, punishable by lethal injection or a life sentence in prison without parole.

Opening arguments in the Deedra Grubbs trial are expected to begin on Wednesday.

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