Crime

Defense says Aurora Avenue slaying is not a question of who did it, but of 'what happened'

Blood evidence, DNA, witnesses and the dying woman's last words were among the evidence prosecutors told jurors they would see and hear in the murder trial of Roderick Blincoe.

Blincoe, 53, is accused of repeatedly stabbing Liese Carr on Sept. 12, 2009, in the torso, neck and back. His trial began Monday — exactly two years since the slaying.

Carr, 53, was stabbed inside her home at 714 Aurora Avenue, off Walton Avenue. She was taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, where she was pronounced dead from severe blood loss.

The two knew each other, attorneys said during opening statements Monday in Fayette Circuit Court. Blincoe had previously lived with Carr, who periodically rented out rooms in her home to help pay bills.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Andrea Williams told jurors there was substantial evidence against Blincoe, who was arrested at a nearby church about two hours after the stabbing occurred.

Public defender Herb West, one of two attorneys defending Blincoe, did not deny that Blincoe stabbed Carr but asked the jury to keep an open mind while the prosecution presented its case. He said Carr's death was not murder.

"This is not going to be a case of 'who,' but 'what happened,' " West said.

West did not say during his opening statement whether Blincoe's mental state would play a role in the trial, though attorneys questioned potential jurors at length about how they could consider extreme emotional disturbance and a person's mental state in commission of a crime.

The stabbing happened in broad daylight, and several witnesses recognized Blincoe as he walked up the driveway to Carr's home just before the stabbing, Williams said. Blincoe, who stopped living in Carr's home in April 2009, still came around often to visit.

Minutes later, muffled screams came from inside the house, Williams said. Neighbors and pedestrians thought it was children playing, but the screams got louder as Carr and her attacker came outside.

A neighbor next door who was outside working on his mailbox saw Blincoe "pushing something into Liese's abdomen," according to Williams.

Another neighbor who was driving by heard the screams and ran toward them. That neighbor saw Carr's attacker jump a privacy fence and flee.

A stainless steel butcher knife was found in the grass in Carr's back yard. Blood on the handle of the knife matched Blincoe's DNA, Williams said. Blood on the blade of the knife appeared to be a match for Carr's.

"The probability that someone else has that same DNA is one in 360 quintillion," she told jurors.

Police followed a trail of Blincoe's blood to a church on North Hanover Avenue, about two blocks away. Blincoe, who had been cut on the hand, apparently broke a basement window of the church and crawled inside, Williams said. He faces a third-degree burglary charge for the alleged break-in.

West told jurors he would ask them to dismiss the burglary charge.

"Blincoe went to the church for the purposes of collecting his thoughts," he said. "Basically, it was the closest church in the area to pray."

The trial is expected to continue through Thursday.

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