PURCELL — Friends and relatives of convicted triple-murderer Shaun Michael Bosse pleaded for the man's life Wednesday in a McClain County courtroom.
Bosse was convicted Monday of killing 25-year-old Katrina Griffin, 8-year-old Christian Griffin and 6-year-old Chasity Hammer at their home in Dibble. The bodies of the young family were discovered in their badly burned mobile home on July 23, 2010.
Most of Bosse's loved ones admitted they hadn't seen or heard from the defendant in years and all said they were “shocked” when they learned the crimes he was accused of committing.
Those closest to Bosse, including his childhood best friend, cousins and his father, painted a picture of a quiet young boy who was bullied mercilessly by his older brother.
Almost every person who took the stand Wednesday described Bosse as “shy” or “bashful.”
Defense attorneys also repeatedly drew attention to the fact that Bosse, 30, and his brother grew up without a father in the house.
But even those closest to him acknowledged that Bosse had become known as a thief, a liar and somebody who was secretive about his personal life in the years leading up to the deaths of Katrina Griffin and her children.
Chad Mitchell, the defendant's closest childhood friend, said that he stopped trusting Bosse when several of his checks were stolen. When he got them back from the bank, he saw that they were signed by Bosse.
“I asked him if he did it, I said ‘just tell me,'” Mitchell said. “I just needed him to tell me he did it.”
Bosse never admitted to taking the checks and the two never fully reconciled.
Bosse's father, Jack, told McClain County investigators that his son was a “habitual liar” and admitted that he was “a part-time” father to Bosse.
Jack Bosse, who said that he was gay and lived with a lover during most of Bosse's childhood, said he wasn't sure if his absence contributed to his son's fate.
He told jurors that he was seeking a career as an actor and, for some reason, that he has “slept with over 600 people.”
“I was a part-time dad,” Jack Bosse said “I was a good father but I was an awful husband.”
When asked whether his son deserved the death penalty for the crimes he was convicted of earlier in the week, Jack Bosse said he didn't believe in capital punishment.
“Not even (for) Timothy McVeigh,” he said. “(But) he should not walk free a day in his life.”
Several of Bosse's relatives made reference to the bullying he endured from his brother, Matthew.
Valerie Barnett, the defendant's aunt, became tearful as she recalled the way Matthew Bosse treated his brother, who was eight years younger.
“He tormented Shaun a lot,” Barnett said of Matthew Bosse. “He'd pick on him ‘til he'd be screaming and bawling,” said Barnett, who mouthed “I love you” to Bosse as she left the stand.
Johnny Pendley, Bosse's great uncle, also commented on the bullying behavior he saw at the defendant's childhood home in Blanchard.
“Matthew was hard on him,” Pendley said. “It was quite obvious Matthew liked to bully him a lot.”
Defense attorneys called more than a dozen witnesses to the stand Wednesday as jurors are being asked to decide whether Bosse will receive life in prison or the death penalty.
The victims' family addressed the jury Tuesday, asking them to recommend the death penalty when the sentencing phase wraps up.
Katrina Griffin and her son, Christian, were killed in the same bedroom in a knife attack. Chasity Hammer died of smoke inhalation after Bosse locked her in a closet shortly before the mobile home was set on fire, prosecutors theorized.