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Blymyer found guilty of murder

By Nathan Hardin
nhardin@salisburypost.com
Bradley Paul Blymyer was found guilty of first-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon Tuesday in the beating death of Jimmie Musselwhite after a jury deliberated for an hour and a half.
There were numerous gasps in the courtroom and tears on both sides of the aisle as the unanimous verdict was announced about 5 p.m. in Superior Court.
Blymyer, 25, who has been on trial for more than a week, showed no emotion as the verdict was given. He will be sentenced at 9:30 a.m. today by Judge John L. Holshouser. Blymyer could face up to life without parole.
He was being tried for the murder of the 62-year-old Musselwhite, who was found bludgeoned to death in his home on Nov. 10, 2006. According to police reports and testimony by Blymyer’s friend and co-defendant Josh Shaffer, the two men entered Musselwhite’s home that day with intent to “get prescription pills one way or another.”
Blymyer’s parents, who had been in court throughout the trial, exited prior to the verdict announcement. Other family members of the defendant sat through the court’s final ruling.
During closing arguments, which took the majority of the day, the prosecution and the defense jousted over the validity of testimony from Shaffer, who testified for the prosecution as part of a plea bargain.
“He’s lied to law enforcement one time before and he’s admitted to it,” defense attorney Ken Darty said.
However, the jury saw it otherwise. Blymyer’s longtime girlfriend testified that Blymyer had been on a crime spree until the time of the murder. In addition, the prosecution focused part of its case on the tip of a latex glove, which was found taped to Musselwhite’s bound body and was discovered to have DNA from Blymyer.
The key concept that district attorney Bill Kenerly explained in detail to the court was called “acting in concert,” referring to Blymyer and Shaffer, the codefendant.
The term refers to the fact that it isn’t necessary for a person to be convicted of a crime if there are two or more people and it’s unclear exactly which of the two members specifically committed the murder.
“Reason and common sense need to come into play in the jury box,” explained Kenerly in his closing argument.
Musselwhite was killed by a combination of blunt force injuries to his skull by a baseball bat and nine stab wounds to his neck by a 6-inch knife which was found beside the body.
Shaffer testified against Blymyer in return for a reduced charge. Blymyer’s DNA was the only DNA found at the scene and no fingerprints were recovered.

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