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‘Nothing good happened here” detective tells defendant in police interview
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Members of the jury heard the defendant’s story in his own words Wednesday afternoon in Allen Superior Court.
Weston Blakely was 23 when he took the life of Jonathon Christopher Jackson, 22, on Nov. 10, 2021 as they were both in Blakely’s apartment. A tape played in court gave Blakely’s explanation of events given in a police interview a week after the killing.
Blakely has been on trial this week in front of Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull. Blakely is tried with the shooting murder of his friend of seven years with a 38-caliber gun. Blakely says Jackson started stabbing him out of nowhere.
Blakely picked Jackson up that night after Jackson snuck out from his father’s home. They met at a gas station.
“I knew he was down on his luck,” Blakely said. “I’ve helped him the whole seven years we’ve been friends.” Blakely agreed to allow him to stay there, he said.
After a trip to an ATM where Blakely withdrew a couple hundred bucks to pay his mother, they went to Blakely’s apartment to hang out. They were talking about old times and Jackson pulled out a couple of videos to watch on his phone when the situation changed dramatically.
Blakely recalls saying he had to get to bed because he had to get to his welding job in the morning.
‘Throughout the whole scenario, I tried to talk to him’
Without saying a word, Jackson pulled out a purple handled knife, stabbing him in the face, the head and the hands, all while Blakely was asking him why he was doing this. Jackson didn’t say a word, he said.
“He got in a couple of stabs and I fell down,” Blakely said. One stab to the jaw knocked out Blakely’s tooth seen lying on the living room floor in a crime scene photo and was the reason for blood spatter on the television screen. “Throughout the whole scenario, I tried to talk to him. Why are you doing this?”
Stumbling from the pain and fighting dizziness, Blakely went to his bedroom in the back of the small apartment to get his gun to defend himself. Jackson, 5 feet 2 inches tall, followed him back there. Blakely, several inches taller, told him to stop. By this time, he had several stabs to his hands, but was holding the .38 when he said Jackson kept coming toward him, Blakely said.
There’s debate as to where Blakely first shot Jackson. Was it the left side of the head, a shot that would have instantly incapacitated him? Or was it one of the six other shots to the torso, all of them on view when Allen County prosecutors pulled up the autopsy photos.
Dr. Scott Wagner, a forensic pathologist who performs the majority of county autopsies, said he couldn’t tell if he was shot first in the head, but Fort Wayne police have maintained that Blakely shot him in the head and then stood over him and shot six more times.
The way Blakely told it, he tripped over Jackson on the way out of the bedroom after he shot him and landed on top of him. Still fearing for his life, he heard breathing even though Jackson wasn’t moving.
A short lesson on agonal breathing – it’s real
That too, is a possibility, Wagner said. Agonal breathing, sometimes called the death rattle, can go on even when a shooting victim is dead, those last few breaths or movement “that appears to be life,” Wagner said.
Unsteady and shaking, Blakely made it back to the living room where his and Jackson’s phones were and hit the emergency call button with his left hand, his weaker hand because his right hand was full of injuries. Police arrived and he left in a cot.
During the interview seen on a video recording, homicide detectives Jeff Marsee and Brian Martin listened to the story politely, told in a straightforward manner, and thanked him when he took back his denial that he cut his friend’s throat.
“I couldn’t do that to someone,” he first told them. “That’s too rough. Just thinking about it. That sucks.” Later, holding back a few tears, he admitted he went back to the bedroom, couldn’t find his gun and got his serrated work knife because he feared for his life. He cut his throat because he thought he was still alive.
At the end of the tape, the detectives searched for a motive. Well, said Blakely, there was an instance several years ago when Jackson thought maybe Blakely was meeting his girl in Franke Park, even though they were breaking up. She needed someone to listen, Blakely said.
Later, Jackson told Blakely, they were “good” on that subject. Then the detectives wanted to know if possibly there was a relationship between the two men.
“No I’m straight,” he told them.
On Thursday, Allen County Prosecutors Tom Chaille and Tesa Helge will bring in Dr. Bill Smock, police surgeon for the Louisville Metro Police Department and an expert in strangulation, for a re-enactment of the homicide. Smock, a clinical forensic doctor, testified in the Derek Chauvin murder trial
According to a probable cause affidavit written by Marsee, Jackson wasn’t facing Blakely when Blakely shot him, but more to the side, an inconsistency in Blakely’s testimony. However, Blakely said Wednesday on video camera it was difficult to remember the circumstances after being stabbed or cut so many times in the head and the hands.
Police also believe that Blakely stood over Jackson and fired multiple shots. The wound to the throat, gaping and bloody in the autopsy photos, was inflicted after Jackson was dead.
“Nothing that happened here was good,” Marsee says in the police interview.