Trial set to start for Ricky Blackwell in 2009 Chesnee homicide - FOX Carolina 21

Trial set to start for Ricky Blackwell in 2009 Chesnee homicide case

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From left to right: Ricky Blackwell and Brooke Center (Spartanburg Co. Sheriff's Office/The Center Family) From left to right: Ricky Blackwell and Brooke Center (Spartanburg Co. Sheriff's Office/The Center Family)
SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Nearly five years after an 8-year-old girl was shot to death in Chesnee, the trial for the man accused of killing her is slated to begin.

Jury selection will begin Monday morning for Ricky Blackwell's murder trial in the fatal shooting of Brooke Center, who was killed July 8, 2009.

Spartanburg County deputies said Blackwell shot Center to get revenge on his estranged wife, who was dating Center's dad. They said Blackwell invited Center and his estranged wife, Angela Blackwell, over to his home in Chesnee to swim.

When the two arrived, deputies said Blackwell grabbed Center and shot her multiple times.

Angela Blackwell told FOX Carolina that she was actually taking Center to Bobby Center's home to go swimming and had stopped to pick up her grandchildren from Ricky Blackwell's home, but he was not supposed to be there.

When deputies closed in on Blackwell, they said he shot himself in the stomach, but survived and has since been held in the Spartanburg County jail.

Blackwell, now 55, has remained in jail since his July 2009 arrest on charges of murder and kidnapping. His trial has been delayed multiple times since then.

According to the solicitor's office, it will be tried as a death penalty case.

According to the clerk of court's office, 300 jurors were summoned for the trial, so they do not know how long it will take to select the jury.

Stay with FOX Carolina and foxcarolina.com for continuing coverage as the trial begins and continues.

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