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SC Man Sentenced to Death For Kidnapping, Killing 8-year-old

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The South Carolina man accused of kidnapping, choking and shooting 8-year-old Heather Center has been sentenced to death. 

Ricky Lee Blackwell Sr. received the sentence after killing the girl in front of his ex-wife and grandchildren in 2009. His ex-wife was dating the little girl's father Bobby Center at the time and Blackwell committed the murder as an act of revenge according to prosecutors. 

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Despite Blackwell's attempts to paint his client as mentally retarded and a "tender" person, the jury took just five hours to make a decision.

According to the Spartanburg Herald Journal, Solicitor Barry Barnette gave an emotional closing argument at the end of the trial, reminding jurors of the loss Blackwell caused: Theyll never see her go on her first date. They wont see her go to her first prom. They wont see her graduate from high school. How much would they pay to have one phone call, to send a piece of mail to her? 

Execution has been set for June, but appeals are expected to delay the execution until a later date. 


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