Brandi Grissom Managing Editor

Brandi Grissom is The Texas Tribune's managing editor and joined the staff when the online publication launched in 2009. In addition to editing duties, Grissom leads the Tribune's coverage of criminal justice issues. During her tenure at the Tribune, she was chosen as a 2012 City University of New York Center on Media, Crime and Justice/H.F. Guggenheim Journalism Fellow and was a fellow at the 2012 Journalist Law School at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. Grissom, along with Tribune multimedia producer Justin Dehn, received a 2012 regional Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative reporting for work on the case of Megan Winfrey, who was acquitted of murder in February 2013 after the Trib’s coverage brought statewide attention the case. Grissom joined the Tribune after four years at the El Paso Times, where she acted as a one-woman Capitol bureau. Grissom won the Associated Press Managing Editors First-Place Award in 2007 for using the Freedom of Information Act to report stories on a variety of government programs and entities, and the ACLU of Texas named her legislative reporter of the year in 2007 for her immigration reporting. She previously served as managing editor at The Daily Texan and has worked for the Alliance Times-Herald, the Taylor Daily Press, the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung and The Associated Press. A native of Alliance, Neb., she has a degree in history from the University of Texas.

Recent Contributions

"Bernie" Movie Leads to Bernie's Freedom

Bernie Tiede leaves the Panola County Courthouse on May 6, 2014.
Bernie Tiede leaves the Panola County Courthouse on May 6, 2014.

Filmmaker Richard Linklater always thought life in prison was too harsh for Bernie Tiede, the East Texas mortician who murdered his 81-year-old companion. Now — in large part because of Linklater's film on him — Tiede is no longer behind bars.

Judge Agrees to Release Murderer "Bernie" Backed by Austin Filmmaker

Bernhardt "Bernie" Tiede exits the Panola County Court building with his attorney Jodi Cole after his hearing on Feb. 5, 2014 in Carthage. His attorney filed new evidence that could affect his punishment term. He has been serving time since August of 1997 for the murder of Marjorie Nugent.
Bernhardt "Bernie" Tiede exits the Panola County Court building with his attorney Jodi Cole after his hearing on Feb. 5, 2014 in Carthage. His attorney filed new evidence that could affect his punishment term. He has been serving time since August of 1997 for the murder of Marjorie Nugent.

Nearly two decades after Bernie Tiede shot 81-year-old Marjorie Nugent and tucked her body in a deep freezer, a judge has released him on bond. The filmmaker Richard Linklater will house Tiede in his Austin garage apartment.

Willingham Won't Get Posthumous Pardon

September 17, 2010 - Activist Jamie Bush attends the Texas Forensic Science Commission board meeting on September 17, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.
September 17, 2010 - Activist Jamie Bush attends the Texas Forensic Science Commission board meeting on September 17, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.

UPDATED: The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has voted not to recommend a posthumous full pardon for Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed a decade ago after being convicted of setting a fire that killed his daughters. 

 

Interim Juvenile Justice Department Leader Named

Michael Griffiths, the executive director of the Texas Department of Juvenile Justice
Michael Griffiths, the executive director of the Texas Department of Juvenile Justice

UPDATED: The board of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department on Wednesday announced the selection of an interim executive director to succeed Mike Griffiths, who announced his resignation last month.

Liveblog: 2014 Primary Election

Vote signs outside of early voting locations in Austin on Feb. 23, 2014.
Vote signs outside of early voting locations in Austin on Feb. 23, 2014.

Texas voters are making the first round of decisions this year about who they want to lead their state in 2015 and beyond. 

Town's Stance on Famed Convict Changes Over 15 Years

Bernhardt Tiede exits the Panola County Court building with his attorney Jodi Cole after his hearing on February 5, 2014 in Carthage. His attorney filed new evidence that could affect his punishment term. He has been serving time since August of 1997 for the murder of Marjorie Nugent.
Bernhardt Tiede exits the Panola County Court building with his attorney Jodi Cole after his hearing on February 5, 2014 in Carthage. His attorney filed new evidence that could affect his punishment term. He has been serving time since August of 1997 for the murder of Marjorie Nugent.

When Bernie Tiede went to trial in 1999 for murdering a wealthy Carthage widow, many in the town wanted the young man to see a light punishment. But 15 years into his life sentence, many now say prison is where he belongs. 

Court Reverses DNA Testing Decision in Swearingen Case

Death row inmate Larry Swearingen during an interview at the Polunsky Unit in Livingston, Texas. He was sentenced to death for the murder of Melissa Trotter. He says he is innocent and that she was killed while he was already in jail for other offenses.
Death row inmate Larry Swearingen during an interview at the Polunsky Unit in Livingston, Texas. He was sentenced to death for the murder of Melissa Trotter. He says he is innocent and that she was killed while he was already in jail for other offenses.

UPDATED: The state’s highest criminal court on Wednesday reversed a lower court’s decision to allow further DNA testing in the case of death row inmate Larry Swearingen, sending his case back to a district court.

Hearing to Look at DNA Evidence in Skinner Case

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After more than a decade of fighting for DNA tests and two years of analysis on decades-old evidence, a court in Pampa will hear evidence that death row inmate Hank Skinner says should stop his execution.

Sheriff and Judge in Battle Over Medical Care in Jail

David Conis Jr. of Kemp, who has diabetes, is the subject of a battle over medical-care accountability at the Hendersonn County Jail.
David Conis Jr. of Kemp, who has diabetes, is the subject of a battle over medical-care accountability at the Hendersonn County Jail.

An East Texas judge says he should be able to intervene when the jail isn't providing medical care he deems adequate. The county says the judge is overstepping the bounds of his authority.