Garrison man gets life for robbing Nacogdoches barber

Timothy Blanton (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail)
Timothy Blanton (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail)

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Shortly after the closing arguments in day two of the trial for the 21-year-old Garrison man accused of robbing a Nacogdoches barber back in July 2012, a jury found Timothy Blanton guilty of aggravated robbery and sentenced him to life in prison.

During the robbery, Blanton tased Chester Pleasant, the owner of the barber shop. During the scuffle, Blanton also stabbed Pleasant with scissors and cut him with a barber's razor.

Currently, the jurors are in the midst of deliberating Blanton's sentence.

Earlier Tuesday, the court proceedings started with Blanton taking the stand. Defense attorney Gene Caldwell questioned Blanton about his and Pleasant's relationship.

"Yes, I knew him," Blanton said.

Blanton argued that the scuffle all started after Blanton realized Pleasant was texting his girlfriend.

"He requested me to leave, so I did," Blanton said. "When I was about to leave, Pleasant grabbed me and wrapped his arm around my neck and tased me. He then hit me and so I hit back."

Blanton admitted using the razor, but only after Pleasant used it first.

Prosecutor Carrie Gilcrease then questioned Blanton, asking if Pleasant's attack was random.

"It wasn't random. I feel like it was because of the argument," Blanton said.

Gilcrease then asked why he didn't leave after he got Pleasant off of him.

"I blacked out and acted in rage," Blanton said. "If you're coming at me and I have a weapon, I am going to defend myself. I slit his throat. That is pretty major, but it was self defense."

Gilcrease asked why Blanton was admitting he was in the shop now but not to police at the time of initial questioning.

"Yes ma'am, I did," Blanton said. "I didn't want to get incarcerated."

Gilcrease then had one final question.

"So you waited until you were in front of this jury to defend yourself to this jury?" Gilcrease asked.

"Yes ma'am, it's my time to defend myself," Blanton said.

Each side of the case was given 30 minutes to close their case.

Caldwell faced the jury and stated his case.

"It's not Mr. Blanton's burden to prove self defense. It is the state's burden to prove it wasn't," Caldwell said.

Caldwell also pointed out several moments from Pleasant's testimony that did not add up, including never mentioning to the 911 operator what was actually stolen.

Caldwell also pointed out the inconsistency on the path Blanton took when he left.

After a short recess, the state made its closing arguments in the case. Gilcrease told the jury that all the evidence presented points to an aggravated robbery.

"You heard (Pleasant) tell you, 'I thought I was going to die,'" Gilcrease said.

Gilcrease then explained why they believe Blanton hid that day.

"He hides because he didn't want to face y'all today," Gilcrease said.

Gilcrease then recalled the taped interview between Blanton and Nacogdoches Police investigators.

"It was his time to defend himself, but all he did is deny, deny, deny," Gilcrease said. "After being told he was being charged, he only cared about the money. He didn't care. The entire time, all he wanted was the money.

While leaving the courtroom, KTRE asked Blanton how he felt about the sentence.

"How do you feel?," said Blanton.

Blanton is already planning to appeal the sentence but a date has not been set at this time.

Gilcrease said that one of the reasons for the life sentence was because of Blanton's prior conviction for armed robbery and a three year sentence.

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