Rickey Lee Blackwell was released from the Spartanburg Regional Medical Center today after recovering from a gunshot wound to the stomach which authorities say was self-inflicted. Blackwell is charged with first-degree murder after authorities say he went to an upstate home last week and shot 8-year-old Heather Brooke Center four times connected to a domestic dispute. The child was the daughter of the boyfriend of his estranged wife, Angela Blackwell.Solicitor Trey Gowdy says they will seek the death penalty against Blackwell, who was taken into the Spartanburg County Jail today wearing a bullet proof vest. He’s scheduled to be arraigned Thursday morning.
Angela Blackwell told a News Channel 7 reporter today that she hopes authorities keep Blackwell in prison for the rest of his life. She said that Blackwell smiled at her(his wife) when he shot the girl.
Funeral services for the girl were held Sunday afternoon in Duncan. More than 500 bikers showed up to the funeral. A representative of the Rolling Thunder motorcycle escort group said it was an appropriate tribute to a little girl who loved riding bikes.