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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Jurors in the Drew Blahnik murder trial didn’t reach a verdict and will continue deliberations Thursday in Linn County District Court.
Jurors started deliberations Tuesday, following six days of prosecution witness testimony. The defense rested without any witnesses.
The jury had two questions Wednesday involving Blahnik’s police interview and jury instructions on the law. Sixth Judicial District Judge Christopher Bruns sent back a note both times and told them to rely on the evidence from trial and the instructions.
Blahnik, 34, of Cedar Rapids, is charged with first-degree murder, abuse of a corpse and obstruction of prosecution. If convicted of murder, he faces life in prison without parole.
Blahnik, in grand jury testimony played during trial, admitted he stabbed Bagley multiple times but said it was in self-defense to protect himself and Drew Wagner, who is already convicted in this case. He and Wagner went to Paul Hoff’s trailer to borrow a circular saw early on Dec. 14, 2018. Wagner and Bagley were in an argument over a gun sale that escalated into a fight, he said.
Blahnik told the grand jury Wagner had his arms around Bagley, trying to hold his arms down, when he saw Bagley reaching behind his back and he saw a gun. Blahnik reacted by grabbing a knife off a counter and stabbing Bagley.
In his grand jury testimony, Blahnik admitted he didn’t know how many times he stabbed Bagley. He stabbed Bagley on his side and his neck. But he said he was trained to “take out organs.”
Bagley was stabbed 13 times and most of the wounds were fatal injuries, a medical examiner testified.
During Wagner’s testimony, he said Blahnik went to find Bagley on orders from drug dealer Andrew Shaw, who wanted Bagley eliminated. Bagley had pulled drug and money robberies against Shaw. Wagner admitted that their intent was to kill Bagley.
Hoff, also charged in this case, testified Blahnik took a knife from behind his back and in a punching motion started stabbing Bagley and screaming like a “maniac.”
Hoff said there was no gun.
Hoff also said all three wrapped up the body in a plastic tarp and loaded it into Wagner’s truck.
The body was found several months later, buried in the yard at Wagner’s home.
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