The Norman Transcript

Crime/Courts

September 17, 2013

2 more testify Monday in first-degree murder trial, including OSBI agent and alleged witness

NORMAN — Family members of a murder victim became visibly upset Monday after photo exhibits showing the deceased were displayed during the ongoing first-degree murder trial of Russell Lee Blackwood, 41.

The photos were displayed during the testimony and cross examination of OSBI Agent Marvin Akers, who was assigned to the case after Lexington Police requested OSBI’s assistance with the investigation.

Lead prosecutor Jennifer Austin used the photos to question Akers about his investigation of the incident in which Blackwood and another Purcell man, 38-year-old Richard Dean Lansdale, are accused of killing Gary Norton Sr., 55, of Lexington, during a drive-by shooting early Easter morning 2012.

Some photos displayed Monday showed Norton lying deceased in his bed in his Lexington home. Others showed where investigators marked what they believed to be bullet holes, or bullet defects, from the shooting.

Photos displayed showed one of the bullet defects marked had traveled through Norton’s bedroom window. Norton died from a gunshot wound to the head.

Other bullet defects marked were on the same side of the house as Norton’s bedroom, and some were found on the roof of the home. Akers testified that the bullets traveled through the home as far as a bedroom located on the other side of Norton’s room. The only thing separating the two rooms was closet space, a diagram presented Monday depicted.

Several names came up during the course of the agent’s testimony, some whom he interviewed and some whom he had little contact with but received evidence or information from. Those included:

· Josh Norton, the murder victim’s son, who was the second person Akers interviewed during the investigation. The first person he talked to was Norton’s girlfriend at the time, Tonya Pittman. Both Norton and Pittman lived at the home with Norton Sr., but neither were home when the drive-by shooting occurred.

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