Man who murders his ex-wife’s 8 yr-old daughter to ‘get revenge’ is sentenced to death
I don’t know how many songs that have been written about how women drive men crazy but it should be a warning to all men to be aware of the danger. Ricky Lee Blackwell did not pay attention to the warnings and allowed his emotion for his ex-wife to get so out of control that he murdered her child to exact revenge.
On Sunday night, a South Carolina man was sentenced to death for the kidnapping and murder of an 8-year-old girl. Ricky Lee Blackwell Sr., 55, reportedly choked Heather Brooke Center and shot her four times in front of ex-wife Angela Davis and his grandsons in 2009, The Spartanburg Herald Journal reports. Blackwell and Davis were separated at the time and Davis was dating the child’s father, Bobby Center. The murder was painted as an act of revenge, the paper says.
The jury, consisting of five women and seven men, deliberated for more than five hours. Blackwell’s execution is set for June 14 but is expected to be delayed as the case is appealed. Solicitor Barry Barnette told jurors that Center’s parents would miss multiple memories with their daughter. ‘They’ll never see her go on her first date,’ he reportedly said during closing arguments. ‘They won’t see her go to her first prom. They won’t see her graduate from high school. How much would they pay to have one phone call, to send a piece of mail to her?’
Barnette also argued that Blackwell is not mentally retarded — something the defense had claimed. Barnette, the paper reports, said the forensic psychologist who testified was not ‘credible.’ Two other psychologists did not find Blackwell to be intellectually disabled. Barnette, the paper adds, also said that Blackwell’s suicide attempts — including when he shot himself in the stomach after officers arrived responding to the 2009 shooting — were grabs for attention. Blackwell’s attorney, Bill McGuired, said his client was a ‘tender’ person.
‘He is a tender, gentle, good person,’ McGuire said. ‘You couldn’t find one person to say a mean thing about him. He never had a mean word for anybody.’
Lawyers will say anything to win a case but to say his client is ‘tender hearted’ despite the fact he murdered a defenseless 8-year old girl in front of the mother and: his own grandson, is beyond the pale. I wish people would stop with the emotional pleas for what a persons intentions are and start holding people accountable for their actions. There are plenty of really really mean not-tender-hearted people who live an entire life without killing anyone. Actions use to speak louder than words, in this case, thankfully they did.
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