Wendell G. Blount, of Calhoun City, who was serving a 10-year sentence for manslaughter in a federal prison in North Carolina, has died.
Blount was convicted of manslaughter in April 2010, but authorities said he fled house arrest to avoid sentencing. He was captured in October 2010 in Baton Rouge, La. Legal wrangling in the case added more delays to the sentencing, which ultimately took place in October 2011.
On Friday, a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans rejected Blount’s argument that he was denied a fair trial when the trial judge barred testimony from witnesses who would have testified they saw Hageman 30 minutes before the accident riding in the middle of the road and failing to get out of the way as vehicles passed.
Blount said the testimony could have influenced the jury’s decision about whether he acted negligently or recklessly.
The three-judge panel said the witnesses’ testimony about Hageman’s conduct at a time and place relatively remote from the accident scene would not help the jury determine what she was doing when she struck by Blount.