03/10/2008 Donna Blanton retrial news #2

The Free Lance–Star: Blanton verdict may come today:

The jury could reach a verdict this afternoon in the case of the Caroline County woman charged with murder in the shooting death of her state trooper husband.


Donna Blanton has said since her husband’s death that an intruder broke into the home about 6 a.m. while she was in the bathroom. She told police that intruder then grabbed the gun and shot Taylor Blanton four times, killing him, before fleeing. Blanton said she then grabbed the gun the intruder had dropped on the ground and fired shots at him as he ran away.

Spencer, though, in his closing arguments, pointed out pieces of evidence testified to by witnesses throughout last week that he thought disproved that theory: a towel, found in the bathroom, with an imprint that matched that of the murder weapon; that there was no sign of forced entry into the home; no footprints found in the dew-covered grass; and the lack of dogs barking when everyone who knew the family said dogs barked when someone came into the home.


Spencer also addressed the motive for about half of his remarks, focusing on why he thought Blanton would have felt compelled to kill her husband. He said she had surmounting financial debt and a fear that her husband would leave her poor and homeless if he found out.

Spencer throughout the trial has said that Donna Blanton had not only her own high credit payments, but also that she took out credit cards in her husband’s name as well. Blanton’s daughters testified last week that they would hide the statements for those bills at their mother’s request.


This afternoon, Spencer will give a rebuttal to Murphy’s closing remarks and the jury will begin deliberations.

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