The Indiana Court of Appeals recently handed down a decision concerning an appeal filed by Edward Blackburn on his murder conviction.
Blackburn was convicted of murder following a jury trial in Starke Circuit Court in August of 2018. He shot Cord Colgrove in the face in rural North Judson in March of 2017. He was sentenced to 65 years in prison.
Blackburn based his appeal on whether the trial court erred in denying his motion to continue the jury trial based on the absence of a witness and whether the trial court abused its discretion in refusing to instruct the jury on the alleged lesser included offense of involuntary manslaughter.
In the decision filed by the Appeals Court last week, they found that Blackburn did not make progress in locating an alibi witness within a 10-month span and admitted that he didn’t have resources to find her. He could only guess where she was. They determined that there was not an abuse of discretion of the trial court to deny a continuance of the trial because of the absence of the witness.
Furthermore, the Appeals Court decided that the trial court acted properly in refusing to instruct the jury on the offenses of involuntary manslaughter as they say Blackburn had an intention to kill Colgrove. In the Appeals Court’s review of the trial transcript, Blackburn had mentioned to one of his friends prior to the murder that he “had something” for Colgrove when he suspected Colgrove of vandalizing his truck. At that time, Blackburn lifted his shirt, revealed the butt of a pistol and smacked it.
Blackburn disputed that he only intended to point his firearm at Colgrove on the day of the murder and the act was involuntary manslaughter. The Appeals Court found that there is no evidence to corroborate Blackburn’s testimony that he intended the shot as a warning, or give Colgrove time to register that Blackburn had a gun before firing it. Blackburn also admitted to intentionally pulling the trigger.
The Appeals Court affirmed the judgments made by the trial court.