Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

911 tape brings conviction

TAMPA — An eyewitness account and a man's dying words, caught on a 911 recording, led jurors to convict Timothy Blackwelder of first-degree murder Thursday.

Also convicted of burglary with an assault using a firearm, Blackwelder was immediately sentenced to two consecutive life prison sentences for killing his lover's husband.

Hillsborough Circuit Judge Robert Foster called it "a cold, calculated murder."

"I hope you never see the light of day," he said.

"That's fine, you know," Blackwelder said. "You can hand them down, but you can't make me serve it."

Jurors deliberated for two hours. They had to sort through the he said/she said accounts provided at trial this week by Blackwelder, 25, and Brittani Key Stewart, his lover and the wife of victim George Stewart, 24.

The Stewarts married in February 2007. They separated a month later, and Brittani Stewart had a romantic relationship with Blackwelder in the months that followed.

Blackwelder said Stewart pulled the trigger on Dec. 7. She said Blackwelder came to the home where she was living, in violation of a restraining order she had against him, and fired the fatal shot to her husband's heart.

They fled to Georgia in her van and were caught a day later.

She wasn't charged with a crime. She said she went with Blackwelder to keep him from hurting her twin toddler daughters, who were left with their dying father.

Assistant Public Defender Kenneth Littman argued Thursday that prosecutors had no physical evidence linking Blackwelder to the crime. The state never tested the murder weapon for fingerprints.

But prosecutor Jalal Harb said jurors couldn't ignore the key piece of evidence: a 911 call that captured George Stewart's last words.

During the recording, Stewart identified Blackwelder by name, said he was pointing a gun at Stewart and then screamed in pain, "He just shot me!"

Blackwelder did not react as a clerk pronounced him guilty of murder. A bailiff handcuffed him before the clerk finished reading the verdict form.

His mother and Stewart's mother both cried quietly on opposite sides of the courtroom.

Outside, Pamela Sansom stood with her son's widow.

"George," Sansom said, "got his justice."

Colleen Jenkins can be reached

at cjenkins@sptimes.com

or (813) 226-3337.

911 tape brings conviction 05/22/08 [Last modified: Friday, May 23, 2008 6:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  2. No lack of issues facing St. Petersburg's six council candidates

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — The six candidates for City Council gathered Monday evening in the very chamber to which they aspire to serve.

    St. Petersburg City Council candidates (from left)  Brandi Gabbard and Barclay Harless in District 2; Jerick Johnston and incumbent council member Darden Rice in District 4; and Justin Bean and Gina Driscoll of District 6. All six candidates appeared at Monday night's forum at City Hall sponsored by the League of Women Voters. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]

  3. Iraq's Kurds vote on independence, raising regional fears

    World

    IRBIL, Iraq — Iraqi Kurds voted Monday in a landmark referendum on supporting independence, a move billed by the Kurdish leadership as an exercise in self-determination but viewed as a hostile act by Iraq's central government. Neighboring Turkey even threatened a military response.

    People celebrate Monday after voting closed in a referendum on independence in Irbil, Iraq.
  4. North Korean diplomat says Trump has 'declared war'

    War

    UNITED NATIONS — North Korea's top diplomat said Monday that President Donald Trump's weekend tweet was a "declaration of war" and North Korea has the right to retaliate by shooting down U.S. bombers, even in international airspace.

    North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, center, speaks outside the U.N. Plaza Hotel in New York on Monday.
  5. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]