Lone Star State jurors convicted two men on Monday of murdering a 24-year-old in a Dec. 8, 2020 confrontation.
Lane Wootan, 25, and stepfather Williams Blankenship, 61, face up to life in prison for killing Josh Fowler, according to local reports out of Bexar County, Texas.
Authorities said Fowler and a friend were engaged in an altercation with Wootan earlier on the day of the killing. Wootan returned, confronting the victim along with his mother Jennifer Blankenship and Williams Blankenship.
BREAKING: After about 3 1/2 hours a guilty verdict has been handing down for both Williams Blankenship and his stepson Lane Wootan. Punishment phase could begin this afternoon or tomorrow morning.
— Erica Hernandez (@erica_KSAT) October 17, 2022
— SueKENS5 (@SueKENS5) October 17, 2022
Wootan, his mother, and stepfather were each armed, authorities said. While Wootan had an AR-15 rifle, the parents had handguns, authorities said. Williams is described as putting the gun in his holster and having clubs in each hand. Wootan got into a fight with Fowler, and Williams gave Wootan one of the clubs, authorities said.
A witness, identified as Fowler’s stepfather, described hearing shots. One sounded like a handgun, and the other like a rifle. Both shots rang out at about the same time. The witness claimed to see Fowler fall the ground screaming. He ran to help, but Jennifer threatened him, saying he would die if he called the cops, authorities said.
Finally, a friend of Fowler’s called 911, but the young man died at a hospital.
“On Tuesday, December 8, 2020, around 10:40 p.m., Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched for a shooting in progress, however, when deputies arrived to the scene they discovered 24 year old Joshua Fowler with a gunshot wound to his torso,” deputies said at the time. “Joshua Fowler was later transported to [San Antonio Military Medical Center], where he later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased. Through the course of the investigation, the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force located Lane Devon Wootan, 23, Jennifer Wootan Blankenship, 46, and Williams Blankenship, 59, at a motel in Guadalupe County. All suspects were placed into custody without incident for first degree felony murder.”
All three defendants were indicted for murder.
The two convictions leave Jennifer Blankenship as the only open case. She chose to be tried separately.
[Image via Bexar County Sheriff’s Office]
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