Drew Blahnik convicted of murdering Chris Bagley
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - After nearly two full days of deliberations, a jury convicted Drew Blahnik of second-degree murder and two other charges in the death of Chris Bagley.
Blahnik killed Bagley during a scuffle in a mobile home just outside Cedar Rapids in December 2018. His body was found a few months later buried in the backyard of a southeast Cedar Rapids home.
Earlier in the day, the jury had signalled it might be unable to reach a verdict, noting a single hold out that jurors had told the judge was not following the rules. After a break for lunch, the jury returned the guilty verdict late Thursday afternoon.
Bagley’s friends and family gathered in the courthouse embraced with some crying with emotion at the verdict.
Prosecutors say Blahnik killed Bagley at the behest of a drug dealer, Andy Shaw, who had an ongoing feud with Bagley that included Bagley stealing from Shaw. Shaw is in federal prison on drug and gun charges.
The defense admitted Blahnik stabbed Bagley to death but argued it was self-defense after Bagley brandished a gun during a fight. Two key prosecution witnesses contradicted whether or not Bagley had a gun during the fight.
Blahnik now faces up to 50 years in prison for the second-degree murder charge. He was also convicted of obstructing prosecution and abuse of a corpse. Sentencing will take place on October 12th.
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