Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ricky Blackwell in Court for Shooting 8-year-old Girl in Head

Ricky Blackwell is due in court on Thursday morning for his arraignment. A judge will read the charges against Blackwell to make sure he understands them and how the criminal justice system will handle his case.

Blackwell’s estranged wife is dating Brooke Center’s father. Investigators said Blackwell grabbed the girl and shot her four times right in front of his wife.

Angela Blackwell did not want to go on camera but gave a statement about her husband being taken to jail. “I hope they keep him there for the rest of his life. He killed an innocent little girl. brooke was the sweetest girl in the world. And he smiled at me when he did it”, she wrote.

**Wednesday 1:35pm Update**

Angela Blackwell, the estranged wife of the suspect spoke with News Channel 7 Wednesday in an interview and said “I hope they keep him there for the rest of his life. He killed an innocent little girl. Brooke was the sweetest girl in the world. And he smiled at me when he did it.“

**Wednesday 1:15pm Update**

Ricky Lee Blackwell said nothing as he was taken into the Spartanburg County Jail. Blackwell was wearing a bullet proof vest. The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office says he wore the vest because of the nature of the crime. Blackwell is scheduled to be arraigned 11:00 a.m. Thursday morning.

**Wednesday 9:40am Update**

The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office expects Ricky Lee Blackwell will be released from Spartanburg Regional Medical Center Wednesday.

Public Information Officer Tony Ivey expects Blackwell will have his arraignment Wednesday afternoon.

Reporting by Chris Cato, Rob Landreth

**Monday 10:30am Update**

Ricky Lee Blackwell is still a patient at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center on Monday.

Tony Ivey, Public Information Officer for the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office, says doctors feel it may be later in the week before Blackwell may be released from the hospital.

Funeral services for a eight year old girl tragically shot and killed Wednesday was held Sunday afternoon in Duncan.

More than 500 bikers showed up to the funeral for Heather Brooke Center. “You look around look at the bikes that are here the love and passion of motorcyclists,“ Ira Barrett with Black Stallion Motorcycle Hearse said.

Rolling Thunder will be escorting the Black Stallion Motorcycle Hearse, which will be carrying Center’s body “The little girl loved riding bikes,“ Mike Dalton with Rolling Thunder said. “To give her one last going away present, her last ride, what better way to do it?“ “She is looking down and smiling from ear to ear,“ Ira Barrett said.

Investigators with the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office arrested and charged Rickey Lee Blackwell with first-degree murder after they say he went to a home on Ridings Road and shot Center four times during a domestic dispute. Blackwell then shot himself and is currently hospitalized and expected to survive. Solicitor Trey Gowdy says they will seek the death penalty against Blackwell.

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