It took only 20 minutes for a Spartanburg County jury to find a Chesnee man guilty of murder and kidnapping, Fox Carolina reported March 12.
It’s been five years now since 8-year-old Brooke Center was murdered by the estranged husband of her dad’s girlfriend. It was a revenge killing planned by Ricky Blackwell when he set up a visit for his estranged wife, Angela Davis, and Brooke to come to his Chesnee home for a swim on July 8, 2009.
When Angela and Brooke arrived at his home, Blackwell grabbed Brooke, where he put her in a headlock, held a gun to her head and pulled the trigger. Davis testified that she offered Blackwell the opportunity to take her and allow Brooke to return home. Blackwell said ‘no.’
Blackwell has admitted that he killed the young girl, but wanted the jury to consider his emotional state when deciding whether or not to give him the death penalty. The penalty phase of the trial begins Thursday at 1 p.m.