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Man convicted of murder again after retrial in deadly Walker home invasion
WALKER - A man who was convicted of killing someone after he broke into their home to steal guns and cash more than three years ago was found guilty again after going through a new trial this past week.
District Attorney Scott Perrilloux announced Tuesday that Blayson Paul Fife was found guilty of second-degree murder. A jury previously found Fife guilty of that same charge in 2019 with a 10-2 verdict. The two jurors who dissented at the time believed Fife to be guilty of a more severe charge of first-degree murder.
A new trial was necessary after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling banned non-unanimous jury verdicts in 2020.
Investigators said Fife had someone drive him to the victim's home and then broke in through a window, stealing a small safe, a silencer and two guns. The person who drove Fife there told law enforcement that Fife initially went in without realizing that the victim — 61-year-old Rick McBride — was home and once the burglar got back to the car, Fife remarked that he was "not going to leave without the money."
Fife went back inside, and the driver heard multiple gunshots before Fife returned to the vehicle.
The driver, identified as Joe Anthony Baluch Jr., told deputies that Fife later tried to have him drive back to the crime scene so he could get rid of evidence, but Baluch claims he refused to go back.
Fife was dropped off at a home in Ascension Parish where he reportedly met up with a group of people and then fled to California. Days later, U.S. Border Patrol agents caught Fife and three other people linked to the break-in.
Fife initially denied any involvement in the crime but admitted to breaking in after he was told that his DNA was found at the scene. He denied killing the victim but would not identify anyone else who may have been with him.
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