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Man sentenced to death after killing girl, 8, to take revenge against his former wife

By Mason White 4:15 PM March 17, 2014
Execution bed illustration 

By: Anika Rao
(Scroll down for video) A man was sentenced to death for fatally shooting his stepdaughter in front of her mother.

Ricky Lee Blackwell Sr., 55, of Chesnee, South Carolina, was sentenced to death for the kidnapping and murder of the 8 year old.

Blackwell reportedly held Heather Brooke Center in a chokehold and shot her four times in front of his former wife.

Blackwell and Davis were separated at the time of the incident and Davis went back to her former lover Bobby Center, who is the girl’s father.

Prosecutors said that the murder was an act of revenge. Blackwell was angry when his wife left him for the girl’s father and wanted to hurt her.

Angela Davis, the deceased child’s mother, testified how her former husband placed her daugher in a chokehold and put a gun to her head as Davis pleaded for him to let the child go and take her instead. Blackwell refused.

The defense tried to argue that Blackwell is mentally retarded. One forensic psychologist testified to that fact, however, two other psychologists did not find him to be intellectually disabled.

The jury of five women and seven men deliberated for more than five hours. Jurors did not find Blackwell to have mental retardation and unanimously convicted him of the crimes. He will be executed for the crime.

Blackwell’s mother was seen crying when the verdict was read. However the victim’s family as well as the prosecutor were pleased.