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Jury starts deliberations in trial of slain City of Tacoma worker

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on July 20, 2011 at 11:52 am with No Comments »
July 20, 2011 1:15 pm
Olujimi A. Blakeney/Courtesy of DOC

Attorneys delivered closing arguments this morning in the trial of a man accused of killing a popular City of Tacoma worker last summer on her front porch.

The jury will now start deliberating the fate of Olujimi Blakeney.

Prosecutors have charged the 26-year-old man with first-degree murder, drive-by shooting and unlawful possession of a firearm in the July 22, 2010, death of 40-year-old Lisa Melancon.

There had been a fight outside in the street outside Melancon’s home in the 7200 block of South Bell Street that night. Melancon, who had worked for the City of Tacoma for 15 years, was calling 911 from her front porch when she was shot in the head and killed.

Prosecutors allege Blakeney fired the shot the deadly shot from a car driving away from the area after the fistfight. In court documents, prosecutors said Blakeney acted with an extreme indifference to human life by firing blindly from the car.

Blakeney was one of three men charged in Melancon’s death. The other two – Manuel Castillo and Herman Jackson – have pleaded guilty to lesser charges and testified against Blakeney.

Blakeney’s trial started July 13.

News Tribune courts reporter Adam Lynn was in court for the closing arguments this morning. Look for his story in Thursday’s News Tribune.

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