Blymyer murder conviction upheld

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 19, 2012

SALISBURY – A superior court judge has upheld a murder conviction, dismissing the argument that a Rowan County man had ineffective counsel during his 2009 trial.
Bradley Paul Blymyer was sentenced to life without parole following the 2006 murder of 62-year-old Jimmie Edgar Musselwhite.
Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour, of Orange County, heard Blymyer’s appeal during a two-day hearing in August.
Blymyer’s new attorney, Dawn Blagrove, argued in the appeal hearing that Blymyer’s 2009 trial attorney, Ken Darty, of Statesville, should have included testimony by a DNA forensic expert.
On Friday, Rowan County District Attorney Brandy Cook confirmed Baddour had rejected Blymyer’s request for a new trial.
Blymyer, now 28, was arrested with then-friend Joshua Lee Shaffer in 2006.
Investigators said the duo confronted Musselwhite in his home on Verlen Drive to purchase prescription pills.
When Musselwhite refused, detectives said, the two decided to rob him.
Shaffer testified against Blymyer in the 2009 trial, in exchange for a plea deal.
He is serving a 20-year sentence for his involvement.
Shaffer told the court in 2009 he hit Musselwhite in the head with a bat.
When Shaffer walked into a back room, he said, he heard what sounded like Blymyer repeatedly striking Musselwhite.
The 62-year-old man was found bound with duct tape, beaten and stabbed.
The tip of a latex glove was found stuck to the duct tape at the scene. Blymyer’s DNA in the glove was the only physical evidence linking him to the scene.
Blagrove, Blymyer’s new attorney, called in Dr. James McClintock, a forensic DNA expert, in August. He contended that an expert would have improved Blymyer’s chance of being found not guilty.
But prosecutors called in Robert Campbell, a Taylorsville attorney, who consulted with Darty, Blymyer’s trial attorney, before the trial.
Campbell said he didn’t think it was necessary to call a DNA expert if Darty wasn’t disputing that the glove contained Blymyer’s DNA.
District Attorney Brandy Cook also said in her final statement in August that DNA was not the only evidence jurors had to consider.

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