A jury in Colorado Springs on Friday found the 19-year-old man who shot and killed a Big O Tire employee last year guilty of reckless manslaughter.
Logan McClelland, of Como, Colo., had been charged with first-degree murder in the August 2010 killing of Bradley Blehm, an employee at the Monument, Colo., Big O location.
Had the jury found McClelland guilty of the original charge of first-degree murder, he would have faced a mandatory lifetime prison sentence. Because the jury decided on a lesser charge, he will face two to six years in prison when sentenced in August. According to local reports, McClelland could get up to 12 years in prison if the judge determines there are aggravating circumstances.
Blehm, 50, died on Aug. 9, 2010 after being shot seven times outside the tire store.
According to police, McClelland, his father and a younger brother were at the store getting a flat on their truck fixed when they heard Blehm swearing. The father, Tom McClelland, reported Blehm to his boss, beginning a confrontation that resulted in Blehm’s death.
Blehm, who El Paso County Sheriff’s Office detectives said had been drinking that morning, was told to go home by his boss, but was still in the parking lot when the McClellands attempted to leave.
Blehm confronted Tom McClelland as he drove toward the exit in a Dodge Ram pickup, detectives said. According to trial testimony, Tom McClelland said Blehm reached into the truck and knocked his glasses off while attempting to open the door and threatening to kill him.
Logan McClelland told detectives he grabbed his father’s .45-caliber pistol to defend his father, who suffers from high blood pressure. Logan McClelland got out of the truck and opened fire without warning, prosecutors told the jury.
An unarmed Blehm was shot in the chin, chest, shoulder, arm, hand and twice in the back. He died instantly.
According to local reports, during the trial the prosecution attempted to prove that the shooting was done after deliberation and with intent. McClelland’s defense told the jury the teen was trying to protect his father when a belligerent and intoxicated Blehm approached his father’s truck.