The Norman Transcript

October 30, 2012

Jury convicts man in 3 deaths

By Tim Talley
The Associated Press

PURCELL — A jury on Monday convicted a man of first-degree murder in the 2010 deaths of a south-central Oklahoma woman and her two children, whose bodies were found inside their mobile home that had been set on fire.

Shaun Michael Bosse was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree arson. It took the nine women and three men on the McClain County jury about four hours to decide his fate.

Now, the jurors must decide whether Bosse, 30, of Blanchard, should get the death penalty or life in prison on the murder charges. They recommended a 35-year sentence and $25,000 fine on the arson charge, the maximum penalty. Opening statements in the penalty phase start Tuesday.

Bosse’s conviction came just hours after a prosecutor argued there was more than enough circumstantial evidence to prove Bosse killed Katrina Griffin, 25, and her children, 8-year-old Christian Griffin and 6-year-old Chasity Hammer, in the rural McClain County town of Dibble.

During closing arguments, District Attorney Greg Mashburn said DNA evidence in the case wipes out any reasonable doubt claims by Bosse’s defense lawyers. Mashburn said the evidence shows the victims’ blood on Bosse’s clothing, scratches on his knuckles and arm and pawn tickets in his wallet indicating he hocked some of the nearly 140 items taken from the family’s home.

“It adds up to only one conclusion — that he’s guilty,” Mashburn told the jury. “There’s enough there that you can see this picture real clear.”

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled that Griffin died July 23, 2010, from multiple sharp force trauma, while Christian died from multiple stab wounds. The medical examiner report says Chasity died from smoke inhalation and burns in the fire.

Chasity had been thrown into a closet and a chair was used to block the door. Evidence inside the home linked Bosse to the deaths, authorities said.

In a dramatic re-enactment during closing arguments, Mashburn slipped a black glove onto his right hand and grabbed the knife that authorities identified as the murder weapon, thrusting it down repeatedly to simulate how Katrina Griffin was stabbed.

“She’s doing all she can to fight for her life,” Mashburn told the jury.

The prosecutor then described how Chasity was punched and kicked before being thrown into the closet.

“Her blood is on his jeans, right here,” Mashburn said as he grabbed the leg of Bosse’s blue jeans, which are among the more than 300 pieces of evidence introduced at trial. “This defendant did these things to those people.”

Bosse did not testify in his own defense.

Defense attorney Gary Henry said there is enough uncertainty about the evidence to raise a reasonable doubt that Bosse was present when the victims were killed.

Witnesses testified that a McClain County deputy visited the victims’ mobile home shortly before midnight the day before they died and that Bosse was there at the time. But Henry said Bosse was observed in Oklahoma City the following morning and had been there for several hours when smoke was reported to be rising from the burning mobile home.

“Was he there when the fire started?” Henry asked members of the jury. “I don’t know who was, but I know who wasn’t.

“Shawn Bosse could not have set that fire,” the lawyer said. “Just because it looks bad doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad.”

But Mashburn said evidence presented by prosecutors indicates the interior of the mobile home could have smoldered for hours before smoke began rising from it.

“The timeline doesn’t work at all for him,” Mashburn said.

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