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Florida Stepdad Found Guilty of Shooting Stepson Until He Didn’t Have ‘Life Left in Him’

James Blackmon Jr., via ECSO

James Blackmon Jr., via ECSO.

A 56-year-old Florida man will likely spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of fatally shooting his stepson nearly two years ago. An Escambia County jury on Friday found James Blackmon Jr. guilty of one count of second-degree murder over the killing of Christopher Roan, court records reviewed by Law&Crime show.

Jurors returned another guilty verdict against Blackmon on one count of first-degree attempted murder involving Samantha Noble, who was Roan’s girlfriend at the time of the shooting. According to a report from the Pensacola News Journal, after hearing both sides argue the case on Thursday and half of Friday, jurors deliberated for only two hours before finding Blackmon guilty on both charges.

According to a sworn affidavit, deputies with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office on December 18, 2020 responded to a 911 call regarding a shooting at a home located in the 2300 block of Packwood Drive. Upon arriving at the scene, first responders said Roan’s mother, Linda Blackmon, was waiving them down from the front of the residence. She told the deputies that “her son was dead and that her husband, James Blackmon Jr., had fled the scene,” per the affidavit.

Deputies then found Roan “laying partially in a hallway” inside the home with Noble by his side. He appeared to have sustained “a gunshot wound to his forehead and multiple gunshot wounds to his body” and showed “no signs of life.” Roan was pronounced dead on the scene.

Deputies spotted Blackmon driving back towards the residence and arrested him in front of the house. In the back seat of a patrol car, Blackmon was recorded making “spontaneous statements about how he had shot and killed his son,” specifically, that he was “in fear of his son,” the affidavit states. Blackmon then recounted what happened in the moments before the shooting.

“James Blackmon Jr and Roan were arguing, so James Blackmon Jr got his firearm, but he did not want to shoot his son, so he attempted to hit Roan with the firearm instead. Roan then took the weapon away from James Blackmon Jr, so James Blackmon Jr ran and collected another firearm,” the affidavit states. “James Blackmon Jr said his wife, Linda Blackmon, then stood between them trying to prevent a shooting; however, James Blackmon Jr fired his handgun at Roan until it was empty.”

Blackmon testified in his own defense at trial and reportedly said that he was in the bathroom taking a shower when he heard his wife and Roan arguing about Noble.

“I yelled from the bathroom, ‘Y’all cut that out,'” Blackmon reportedly testified. “And it didn’t stop, so I put my towel on around me and I came out.”

Blackmon claimed that Roan pushed his mother to the ground then pulled a gun and came at him.

“He was coming down the hallway to try and get me, so I pulled my gun up and I shot him,” Blackmon reportedly testified. “I shot him until I didn’t have any bullets left because I knew if he had life left in him he would shoot me. He had a gun, he was armed.”

Roan’s mother, however, testified that Roan was unarmed and his hands were by his sides in the moments before the shooting.

After Blackmon shot Roan a total of 12 times, Roan’s mom reportedly yelled to Noble that Blackmon was going to kill her too. Noble reportedly ran outside and hid in a camper which Blackmon then shot seven times, though Noble escaped uninjured.

Blackmon reportedly testified that he was “angry” and “grieved” about “the fact that I just killed my son,” but claimed he “had no aim at killing her.”

“But I kind of lost myself on that,” he reportedly added.

Blackmon is scheduled to appear before Judge John Simon for his sentencing hearing on Sept. 8. He faces up to life in prison.

Read the affidavit below.

[image via Escambia County Sheriff’s Office]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.