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Man pleads to lesser charge

Ryan Charles

A Troy man facing murder charges Monday pleaded to a lesser charge mid-trial, after prosecutors discovered witnesses had a different testimonies.

Emmanuel R. Youngblood, charged originally with the murder of 35-year-old C.L. Siler, instead pled guilty to manslaughter.

The Pike County District Attorney’s office offered to lessen the charge against Youngblood, also known as “Man,” after a midday recess.

Assistant District Attorney Tom Anderson said he discovered as many as five witnesses would testify that the victim Siler might have possessed a gun when he was killed in a shooting on Aug. 8, 2008.

The incident took place on Rose Circle.

“You never know with these cases who’s going to say what until you get to the courtroom,” said District Attorney Gary McAliley.

McAliley said the state offered the deal because the potential testimony could have indicated that Youngblood was lawfully provoked when he fired on Siler.

According to state law, lawful provocation is grounds for guilt of manslaughter and not murder.

McAliley said that in light of the information his office received, he felt the state was correct in reducing the charge and he considered the case a success. Defense attorney Bill Key, who represented Youngblood, was satisfied with the outcome, as well.

“You like to try these cases to the end,” said Key. “But sometimes it doesn’t work out that way.

Ethically, my job is to represent my client to the best of my ability, and I think I assisted my client the best I could.”

Key also explained to the jury that ultimately it was Youngblood who made the decision to plea guilty to manslaughter.

The sentencing hearing is estimated to commence in about 30 days and Anderson said he expects Youngblood to receive a sentence of 10-20 years in the state penitentiary.

Former Troy Police officer Ben Crawley was the first called to the stand in trial before Youngblood pleaded. Crawley testified he arrived to the scene of a possible ìshots fired call,î about five minutes after he was dispatched.

ìI observed several subjects around,î Crawley said. ìAs I was exiting my vehicle, several folks were yelling, hes been shot.î

Crawley said he found Siler on the front porch of a residence on Rose Circle and he was unresponsive.

Troy Police Detective and Crime Scene Investigator Michael OHara, said he arrived on site shortly after.

OHara testified to the authenticity of evidence presented by the prosecutors including pictures of the crime scene, two .40 caliber shell casings, and an unspent 9mm bullet that was found near the location of the shooting.

The detective also said that no firearm was found. Troy Police Department Detective Calista Everage was one of two other detectives assigned to the case.

Everage said she began her investigation by interviewing Tyiesha Pollard the night of the shooting. Pollard, who was the common-law wife of the victim Siler, was among witnesses that led Everage to name Youngblood as the suspect. Youngblood turned himself into authorities the next day.