During her testimony, she admitted to helping dispose of evidence in Purcell Lake in the form of shell casings and gloves and a shirt worn by Lansdale. However, Austin said in closing statements that Taitano did not have any criminal intent; she was only with the two men that night to get high.
Austin said Blackwood was the one who pointed out the house to Richard Lansdale. The house, which was owned by Norton Sr., is where his son, Josh Norton, lived at the time. Prosecutors said Blackwood “wanted to teach (Josh Norton) a lesson.”
Blackwood was told by his girlfriend, Shannon Davis, that Norton tried to force himself upon her.
Austin said Lansdale did not have a “beef” with Norton; he didn’t even know Norton or know where he lived. Blackwood also handed the gun to Lansdale, she said.
“You don’t hand someone a gun without knowing what’s going to happen,” Austin said.
She said Gary Norton Sr. would still be on this earth if Blackwood didn’t put this shooting in motion and get the ball rolling. Blackwood was upset with Josh Norton because Davis said Norton sexually assaulted her.
Blackwood even admitted to participating in the shooting during calls he had with Davis while in jail, Austin said.
Portions of those calls were played in court Wednesday while a Cleveland County Sheriff’s deputy who was the custodian of jail calls was cross examined.
The calls recorded Blackwood telling Davis the following:
· If he didn’t love her, he wouldn’t be in jail on a Murder I charge.
· He chose her over everything that meant anything to him.
· He was a passenger in a car defending his girlfriend because someone forced themselves upon her.
· She needed to file charges against Norton because it looked like he directly and intently went and committed the crime, adding it was all he could do to live with himself knowing that man was dead and he participated.