SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- A Spartanburg County jury deliberated just 20 minutes before convicting a Chesnee man in the shooting death of an 8-year-old girl.
Ricky Lee Blackwell Sr., 55, was convicted Wednesday of kidnapping and murder in the 2009 death of Brooke Center.
The same jury will return Thursday afternoon to determine whether Blackwell should die for the crimes.
Prosecutors said Blackwell killed the girl in an act of revenge. Brooke was the daughter of Bobby Center. At the time, Center was in a relationship with Blackwell's estranged wife, Angela Davis, who later divorced Blackwell.
Davis testified against Blackwell on Tuesday.
She said she pleaded with Blackwell to let Brooke go, but he refused. Davis said Blackwell told her "You did this.tell me what Bobby thinks of this,"' before shooting Brooke.
Blackwell's attorney, Bill McGuire, told the jury that Davis was not a credible witness.
McGuire said Davis often returned to Blackwell "not to reconcile, but to take advantage of him." McGuire said Davis returned for money and took most of the furniture from the home where they lived before she left him.
Spartanburg County sheriff's deputies recovered the gun at the crime scene after they say Blackwell shot himself in the abdomen.
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