CENTER, TX (KTRE) - It only took a Shelby County jury about an hour and a half to return with a guilty verdict for the woman accused of being an accomplice in a 2013 crime spree that resulted in the shooting death of a Joaquin hotel housekeeper Wednesday afternoon.
The jury found Deedra Grubbs guilty of capital murder and two counts of aggravated assault. Because the state chose not to pursue the death penalty in this case, it means that Deedra Grubbs received an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole. In addition, the jury sentenced her to 20 years in prison for each of the aggravated assault charges.
The 2012 crime spree started with an aggravated robbery in Montgomery and ended with Bobbie Grubbs, Deedra Grubbs' husband, shooting three people at a hotel in Joaquin, killing one and injuring two others.
Bobbie Grubbs, was convicted of capital murder on May 19, 2014 and was sentenced to life without parole. He was also convicted of two counts of aggravated assault.
Dr. Paula Lundberg-Love, a mental health expert, was the first witness to take the stand on Wednesday. Lundberg-Love said that Deedra Grubbs was brought to her office for a four-hour interview in which she said that she was bi-polar and also depressed.
Lundberg-Love also said, based on the results of her exam, Deedra Grubbs should also be placed on suicide watch.
The mental health expert said Grubbs told her she was not on any medication when she came to her office. Lundberg-Love said she gave Grubbs a clinical exam.
"She scored a clinically significant score in many areas," Lundberg-Love said. "There were a number of problems when I interviewed her."
Lundberg-Love said Deedra Grubbs was clinically significant in mania, paranoia, depression, and suicidal tendencies. She also has borderline personality disorder. Lundberg-Love also said that based on the test, Deedra Grubbs is not aggressive or a dominant person. Lundberg-Love also said she has mood changes quickly.
"The highest score is suicidality," Lundberg-Love said. "Based on this narrative, she should be on suicide watch."
Lundberg-Love also said the Grubbs showed signs of not knowing where she would go in life.
The mental health expert also told the defense that she did not do an I.Q. and said she believed Grubbs was competent to stand trial.
"That's why that measure was so important. She was never assertive. She has been this way in life" Lundberg-Love said. "She has been told women are to be subservient through her religion and relationships."
Lundberg-Love said that if Grubbs had medication withheld it makes it easier to control her and that it would have been be hard for Deedra to leave Bobbie.
"The kind of male Bobbie was made him a controlling person," Lundberg-Love said. "She had no family and a husband and a baby with no support system. It's hard for women in these situations to leave."
Lundberg-Love said that based on her assessment of Deedra Grubbs, that it is possible she doesn't remember all of what happened during the crime spree she and Bobbie went on.
Lundberg-Love told the state that the only details she had on the case was a transcript of a police interview. Lundberg-Love said that it might have been helpful if she had a video of the interview.
Lundberg-Love also said she was not given medical files or interviews any of the witnesses or Bobbie Grubbs either.
The mental health expert told the state the prior to meeting Bobbie Grubbs, Deedra Grubbs was not bi-polar and that she had been on several drugs including cocaine, marijuana, and ecstasy.
Lundberg-Love agreed with the state that it is possible that Deedra or someone in her position could be affected by the possibility of being in prison for the rest of their life. The mental health expert also the state also that she was unaware if Grubbs could have been lying in the test.
Lundberg-Love believed that her test on Grubbs was accurate.
After a short recess, Deedra Grubbs said she would not be testifying in her defense.
At 11:25 a.m., both sides rested their cases.
After the lunch recess, prosecuting attorney Wes Mau said in his closing arguments that the jury needs to focus on the elements of the crime. Mau said it didn't matter that Deedra Grubbs said she was forced based on her religious views or that the state may not have recovered all of the casings.
"You don't have to pull the trigger to be found guilty," Mau said.
Mau said that Friends and family were trying to get Deedra Grubbs and her husband to give up, but she wouldn't listen to them. Mau continued and said the jury was told that Deedra Grubbs did not see Bobbie Grubbs go in a hotel room and shoot the three people.
Mau pointed to a recorded interview in which Deedra Grubbs told authorities she saw Bobbie Grubbs go in the room where two cleaning ladies and an old man were.
"I'm not saying Deedra was in the room when Bobbie killed Mrs. Chan," Mau said. "I'm not saying that at all, but Deedra did go with Bobbie and steal the money and car."
Mau said the conspiracy charge goes further when Deedra told police that she and Bobbie had talked about robbing a bank.
"The capital murder should have been anticipated based on all of this," Mau said. "The defense has tried to tell you that Bobbie Grubbs is a bad guy, and he is the kind of guy who could do this. The real question is who could have anticipated this? His wife of 13 years. Would she have not been the one to know this?"
Mau said Deedra Grubbs easily anticipated that because she knew Bobbie Grubbs the best.
Mau then moved to Bobbie Grubbs' testimony. Mau told the jurors how Bobbie would tell her what to do and she would do it, but he was worried she would call the police.
Mau asked why would Bobbie Grubbs bring her along if she was unwilling to go.
"If Bobbie had a gun like he said he did with him when they robbed Mrs. Cashdollar, wouldn't that have been better than choking her," Mau asked.
"Deedra had the chance to go to the police, but she didn't," Mau said. "It would not make sense for her to run unless she was involved."
Continuing, Mau said that Deedra could have sought help when she went to the Gold Exchange to get cash for the jewelry she had.
Mau then moved to the shooting scene. The prosecutor said that Bobbie told them that he tied Deedra up, but when photos were shown to the jury, the room showed no signs of a sheet being taken off of the bed.
"Deddra even denied it when she talked to police," Mau said.
Mau said in the interrogation tape, you can hear her standing by her man. Mau then pointed to a letter two months after the incident where Deedra Grubbs told Bobbie Grubbs on several occasions that she loved him and that she supported him.
Mau pointed to a line at the end in the letter where she wrote to Bobbie, "I am just as guilty as you."
Rudy Velasquez, one of Deedra Grubbs' defense attorneys, brought up Bobbie Grubbs in his closing arguments.
"It has taken us seven days to get here, and three and a half days were about an event in Montgomery County," Velasques said. "Let Montgomery County deal with what happed there. Let us deal with what happened in Shelby County."
Velasquez said that Bobbie Grubbs could have tied Deedra Grubbs up and then untied her and put the bed sheets back on.
Velasquez then said that Bobbie was controlling.
"Bobbie brings home a STD and then gives it to her," Velasquez said. "He then got a clean bill of health from a doctor he paid and blamed her."
The defense attorney then moved on to the shooting in Joaquin and said Bobbie's decision was not premeditated and that it happened in a split instant. Velasquez asked if Deedra Grubbs knew her husband would do it.
Velasquez pointed out how one witness heard leaves moving and then shots by Bobbie Grubbs. He also reminded the jury that there are no leaves in the pictures and that it was in April when leaves are not usually on the ground.
Deck Jones then took over for the defense. Jones pointed out that Deedra Grubbs was barely awake when she was interviewed.
Jones also pointed out how Bobbie Grubbs knew after talking with police over the phone that they were not wanted for murder, but he told Deedra that anyway to keep her in line with him.
In addition, the defense attorney pointed out that all the shots fired in Joaquin came from Deedra's husband.
"They were all from Bobbie," Jones said.
Jones then came back to the defense's assertion that Bobbie Grubbs had been controlling his wife.
"He may not be the devil but he is friends with the devil," Jones said.
Jones pointed out that Bobbie Grubbs kept Deedra Grubbs from family and friends. Jones told the jurors that Deedra said at one point she wanted to leave him, but she promised to be married to him until death do they part. Jones said how Deedra Grubbs told officers that she did not talk to him and that her role in their marriage mainly consisted of lighting his cigarettes.
"All along it was was, 'Bobbie said do this and do that,'" Jones said. "Never did it she say, 'We talked about this.'"
Jones closed by saying that this was all Bobbie Grubbs and not Deedra Grubbs
Prosecuting attorney Ralph Gurerro then talked to the jury and said that the defense putting all of this on Bobbie Grubbs is a con. Guerrero then compared Deedra and Bobbie to Bonnie and Clyde. Gurerrero said that Deedra Grubbs continued to downplay her role and asserted she cannot use her background as a defense.
"This is not about a submissive Pentecostal wife," Guerrero said. "This is a case about money.
Guerrero said that it was not about keeping the lights on but was about Boobie and Deedra Grubbs feeding their drug addictions.
The prossecutor said Deedra Grubbs made no attempts to hide her identity when they robbed Cashdollar because she and Bobbie planned it.
Guerrero argued that Deedra Grubbs knew what was going to happen in the hotel room because she knew Bobbie Grubbs had the gun, and she did not call the police.
"She knew what was going to happen," Guerrero said. "She agreed to it."
Guerrero claimed that Deedra Grubbs was waiting outside the door wile Bobbie shot the three workers.
"Deedra is just as guilty," Guerrero said. "She did not have to pull the trigger to be guilty."
The jury was handed the case at 3:05 p.m., and they returned with a verdict by approximately 4L30 p.m.