Man claimed self-defense from mugger attack
By Robert Allen
summit daily news
SUMMIT COUNTY — A man who fired a handgun into his groin at a local parking lot last year was found guilty Wednesday of a felony and two misdemeanors.
David Leroy Blurton, 50, had been drinking alcohol the evening of May 29, 2009 when he pulled a Makarov 9mm pistol from his truck near City Market in Dillon and tried to cock it, resulting in serious injury, according to Deputy District Attorney Kristine Word.
Blurton, of Summit Cove, had said the move was in self-defense after a mugger struck him in the back of the head. But surveillance footage was insufficient to support that claim, and none of his money was missing from the scene, according to a press release from the district attorney's office.
The felony of reckless discharge of a firearm can result in a prison sentence of up to three years, and misdemeanor counts of “prohibited use of a weapon — drunk with a gun” and reckless endangerment combine for imprisonment up to a year-and-a-half.
But Word said the prosecution is “really looking at probation,” for the primary concern is “we just don't want him having guns.”
“He's not a bad guy. He just made a series of really bad choices,” she said.
A Smith and Wesson 9mm was also found at the scene.
Heather Beattie, Blurton's attorney, said she was disappointed in the outcome — but that, based on conversations with jury members, it seemed reasonable.
“Many jurors sympathized with him,” she said. “I had a juror call me at my office and leave a message saying, ‘We're really sympathetic to (the) client but feel safer as a community not having problems going on with guns and drunkenness.'”
The incident last year occurred after Blurton had been fishing and drinking beer at Lake Dillon with a co-worker. Later at Ruby Tuesday's, the co-worker paid him $1,000 in cash for some work he had done.
Blurton was found by a Wells Fargo bank employee at 6:40 p.m. outside his truck and bleeding profusely. Beattie said there was confusion about what exactly had occurred between the restaurant and the truck.
“There was an hour-and-a-half time period he couldn't really account for,” she said. “He was sure that he was smashed over the head before he got in the (truck).”
The 12-member jury deliberated more than three hours before reaching a verdict. Sentencing is set for June 14 at 11 a.m.
Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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