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Verdict reached in Starke Co. murder trial

KNOX, Ind. -- The jury has returned a guilty verdict in the Starke County murder trial of Edward Blackburn.

On Aug. 21, 2018 Blackburn was convicted on one count of murder.

He was charged with murdering Cord Colgrove by shooting him in the face in March 2017.

Tuesday marks day seven of the trial, when both sides presented closing arguments and handed the exhibits over to the jury to deliberate.

Then 35-year-old Cord Colgrove was found with a gunshot wound to the mouth around 6:30 p.m. on March 3, 2017.

Prior to that night, both attorneys agree that Colgrove had been sending his ex-girlfriend, Augusta Hadden, nasty and threatening text messages like "I will fight for you. I will die for you. I will f***ing kill a motherf***er for you. I love you."

Hadden had started dating Blackburn by this time. 

On the night Colgrove was killed, the Starke County prosecutor says Colgrove had followed the pair in his truck to 400S Street in North Judson.

Blackburn admits that he shot Colgrove, but his legal team claims it was in self-defense.

They say he was scared by the harassing messages as well as another incident. 

The defense said a witness, Colgrove's friend, said Colgrove told him that he had previously vandalized Blackburn's truck.

Besides the grill being badly damaged, the defendant said he found a death threat on it.

Also, the defense called Colgrove a "meth-fueled madman" who was coming for Blackburn.

They say a doctor testified that the amount of meth found in Colgrove's bloodstream during his autopsy has been known to make a person violent and suffer convulsions and hallucinations.

The prosecution claims it was murder, because after the truck incident, Blackburn bought a gun to "be ready for [Colgrove]" if he came to find him, which they assert shows intent to kill.

They also say that as soon as Colgrove got out of the truck, Blackburn shot him, so Cord didn't have time to show aggression.

With that being said, the prosecution says the main implicating factors for Blackburn are what he did after the shooting: he left the scene; he tossed the gun; he got rid of his girlfriend's cell phone; and he ran from police when they found him in a hotel in Mishawaka.

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