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Blymyer sentenced to life without parole

By Shavonne Potts
spotts@salisburypost.com
A judge sentenced 25-year-old Bradley Paul Blymyer to life in prison without parole Tuesday for the 2006 murder of Jimmie Edgar Musselwhite.
During a short hearing in Rowan County Superior Court, Blymyer, 25, gave notice of appeal through his attorney, Ken Darty of Statesville.
Blymyer has been on trial for more than a week in the beating and stabbing death of Musselwhite, 62, who was found in his home Nov. 16, 2006.
“It was a senseless death for two bottles of pills,” Sherry Ritter, Musselwhite’s daughter, said after sentencing.
“I’m relieved that they are not going to be coming out to do it again,” said Cassie McIntosh, one of Musselwhite’s three grandchildren.
Charlie Parrish, who has known Musselwhite for 30 years, said he was glad justice had been served.
Ritter said she will be glad when co-defendant Joshua Lee Shaffer is also sentenced and in prison.
She also expressed gratitude to Rowan County District Attorney Bill Kenerly and Rowan County Sheriff’s Office detectives Chad Moose and David Earnhardt.
“They did a great job,” Ritter said.
On Monday, jurors found Blymyer guilty of first-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon. Shaffer, Blymyer’s best friend, testified against him in exchange for having the charge against him reduced to second-degree murder.
Shaffer will be sentenced at a later date for that charge and robbery with a dangerous weapon.
Testimony revealed Shaffer had been buying prescription pills from Musselwhite. He and Blymyer broke into several homes in order to feed their pill addiction, according to Shaffer. The two went to Musselwhite’s Verlen Drive home, near Bostian Heights, to buy pills.
When Musselwhite refused, he was hit over the head with a Louisville Slugger he kept at his home for protection. Shaffer testified that he hit the man over the head twice. He then went into a back bedroom to see what valuables he could steal and heard Blymyer strike Musselwhite several more times with the bat. When he returned, Blymyer was standing over Musselwhite.
Autopsy reports confirmed Musselwhite was struck in the head at least five times. His throat was cut and he was stabbed in the neck about nine times. The bat and a knife were found near Musselwhite’s body.
DNA on a piece of latex glove stuck to duct tape over Musselwhite’s mouth matched Blymyer’s DNA, authorities testified. No other DNA was found at the scene, nor were any fingerprints.
Shaffer said when the two broke into homes they always wore work gloves or latex gloves provided by Blymyer.
Blymyer was arrested in Kentucky four months after the murder. Shaffer was arrested a short time later in Pennsylvania.
Shaffer said he’d been planning to leave for Pennsylvania for weeks, but broke into a home with Blymyer after the murder, obtained some cash and left the next day.
Blymyer’s attorney maintained that Shaffer acted alone and his client never harmed anyone in his life.
Superior Court Judge John L. Holshouser denied Blymyer bond while he waits during the appeals process.
Throughout the trial, Blymyer’s parents had been in court, but exited before the verdict announcement. They were not present during his sentencing.

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