BLOUNT TRIAL: Jury begins deliberations

By Patsy R. Brumfield / Daily Journal

GREENVILLE – A federal jury began to consider whether Wendell Blount of Calhoun County was impaired by morphine when his vehicle struck and killed a Dutch cylist on the Natchez Trace in 2009.

Blount’s trial has been under way since Monday in U.S. District Court. Judge W. Allen Pepper Jr. is presiding.

The jury recessed to deliberate at 10:30 a.m.

Attorneys for both sides presented closing arguments this morning.

Prosecutor Robert Mims said it’s clear Blount was grossly impaired by self-medicating with morphine prescribed to him for chronic pain.

Defense counsel David Hill of Oxford cited several examples of witnesses, who said they didn’t notice Blount’s impairment. That is enough for reasonable doubt, Hill insisted.

“Does it make any sense that two cops would leave a severely impaired, drunk man in a hospital to walk out on his own?” Hill said about after the April 22, 2009 accident on the Natchez Trace.

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