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Second hearing will be held to decide if Drew Blahnik will get new trial

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 5:32 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Drew Blahnik is asking for a new trial after he was convicted of killing Chris Bagley in 2018.

A jury convicted Blahnik of Second Degree Murder in July. Tuesday was originally supposed to be his sentencing day, but instead, arguments were heard on whether he should get a new trial.

Loved ones of both Blahnik and Bagley were in the courtroom for the hearing.

Defense Attorney Leon Spies said the jury was pressured into coming up with a verdict after they were reportedly deadlocked. Spies said the jury made it clear there was one juror who was not following the rules and it wasn’t until they were given instructions urging a verdict that a decision was made.

The jury deliberated for nearly two days before reaching a conclusion in this case.

Some more time will be spent in court. In the motion for a new trial, the defense argued one juror had too much knowledge of the case and those involved. A witness they subpoenaed on that topic was not available for Tuesday’s hearing, so another hearing will be scheduled to discuss juror bias.

Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden said that the Bagley family has been very patient throughout this process.

”I think they can take some measure of comfort knowing that for us the case is never closed. And that we’re going to be working on it very hard and do our best that we see a just outcome for them,” Vander Sanden said.

Judge Christopher Bruns is expected to rule on whether Blahnik will get a new trial after the next hearing.

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