APRIL 20, 2021—A Logan County jury today returned a guilty of verdict against James A. Blackburn on charges arising from a shooting incident on November 23, 2020 in Belle Center, Ohio.
The jury found Blackburn guilty of having weapons while under disability, a felony of the third degree, felonious assault, a felony of the second degree, improperly discharging a firearm at or into a habitation, a felony of the third degree, and using weapons while intoxicated, a misdemeanor of the first degree. The jury also found against Blackburn on a pair of 3-year gun specifications.
During the trial, Logan County Count Prosecutor Eric Stewart presented evidence Blackburn was living in a camper behind the home of his daughter and son-in-law in Belle Center. In the afternoon and evening, Blackburn consumed nearly a bottle of Seagram 7. At 10:02 PM, he invited his son-in-law, Jeff Whatley, to the camper for a beer. Upon entering the camper, Whatley saw Blackburn had two guns on the table and Blackburn told Whatley, “We are going to have heart-to-heart.” Whatley fled the camper and Blackburn fired a shot from a .32 caliber revolver. Blackburn subsequently fired several more shots into the home. The Logan County Sheriff’s Office recovered four bullets inside the home. Nobody was injured in the incident.
The Court ordered Blackburn be held in the Logan County Jail and set a sentencing hearing for May 19, 2021.