Houston County attempted murder suspect released

By Matt Elofson

Published: December 16, 2009

A Florida man charged with trying to kill a Houston County narcotics deputy was released from jail on Tuesday after a judge reduced his bond.

Circuit Court Judge Lawson Little reduced the bond for Randall Mark Granger, 48, of Marianna, Fla., from $500,000 to $100,000. Attorney John Steensland III, who represents Granger, said his client was released from custody at the Houston County Jail Tuesday afternoon after he posted the $100,000 bond. Granger had been held in jail since his arrest in September.

Former Jackson County Sheriff Johnny “Johnny Mac” McDaniel testified on behalf of Granger during the bond hearing.

“I’ve never known Randy to do anything in a violent manner,” McDaniel said.

Steensland said his client, facing an attempted murder charge, was completely overcharged. Steensland asked for the bond to be reduced to $30,000 to $50,000.

Assistant District Attorney Gary Maxwell argued against a bond reduction, and said the defendant tried to run over Houston County Sheriff’s Deputy Phillip Small with a pickup truck during an attempted arrest.

The charge stemmed from a two- to three-mile high-speed chase through Dothan after Granger failed to stop for law enforcement vehicles. Small said he saw Granger smoking marijuana inside his pickup truck at a car wash on East Main Street. Small reported that he was nearly struck by the 2000 Nissan Frontier pickup truck driven by Granger as he refused to comply with commands to show his hands.

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