Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 23, 2017

Blum appeal denied

By Xiomara Levsen | Apr 08, 2013
James Blum

Last week the State of Iowa Supreme Court denied James Dean Blum his appeal for his second-degree murder conviction of killing his wife Patricia Blum in 2010.
According to court records the appeal was filed in January. In the appeal Blum claimed he was denied effective assistance of counsel because his counsel failed to make an appropriate motion for judgment of acquittal, specifically identifying the element or elements of the crime for which evidence was lacking.
In the appeal the Iowa Supreme Court said because there was sufficient evidence to convince rational jurors that Blum acted with malice aforethought, Blum’s counsel did not have a duty to raise a meritless motion to attack the sufficiency of the evidence, court records said. Court records also said his counsel was therefore not ineffective and his conviction and sentence was affirmed.
According to The Journal’s edition on Jan. 11, 2010, Blum made a 911 call to the Washington County Communications Center stating he had possibly killed his wife. The Washington Police Department and Washington County Ambulance responded to the Blums’ residence at 1009 E. Washington St. Patricia Blum was found unresponsive. She was transported to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Blum waived his Miranda rights and admitted to killing his wife by smothering her, after she had backed into the garage door, court records said. He said the couple had been having disagreements for several weeks. He also said he meant to kill Patricia Blum, court records said. He held her face down on the couch for two to three minutes until she stopped breathing. Patricia Blum pleaded with him to let her go while he was holding her down, court records said.
Blum made statements to the police about killing his wife Patricia, which were played at the trial in 2011, court records said. These statements included “Yeah, I killed her to shut her up,” and “She was hollering. I should have let her up but I didn’t because I was so angry and upset,” court records said.
Blum pleaded not guilty in March 2010, court records showed. The trial took place in early January 2011, court records said.
As reported in The Journal’s Jan. 9, 2011, edition Blum testified in court that he was “worried what was going to happen to me,” after Defense Attorney John Robertson asked Blum about what he was thinking when he found Patricia unresponsive. Robertson also asked Blum how he felt about Patricia and Blum responded, “Miserable.”
Blum was convicted of second-degree murder on Jan. 9, 2011, and was sentenced to 50 years in prison. He was denied bond during his appeal process, court records said.
According to court records, Blum was to pay $150,000 in restitution to Patricia’s family. He was also to pay about $7,500 for funeral expenses and $3,600 to Washington County for medical expenses, court records said.

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