Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: The victim told him that she had aborted six of his children
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: January 6, 1995
Date of birth: January 18, 1957
Victim profile: Caroline Thomas-Tynes (his former girlfriend)
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Broward County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on May 16, 1997

Supreme Court of Florida

opinion SC90859 opinion SC03-1553

DC# 124389
DOB: 01/18/57 

Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County, Case #95-1473
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable James I. Cohen
Attorney, Criminal Trial: Robert Ullman – Special Appointed Public Defender
Attorney, Direct Appeal: Gary Caldwell – Assistant Public Defender 
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Todd Scher – Registry

Date of Offense: 01/06/95

Date of Sentence: 05/16/97

Circumstances of Offense:

Lynford Blackwood was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1995 strangulation of Caroline Thomas-Tynes. 

In his confession to police, Lynford Blackwood revealed that he and Caroline Thomas-Tynes had dated on and off for ten years before the relationship ended in late 1994. Shortly after the break-up, Caroline began seeing someone else and became pregnant.

On the morning of 01/06/95, Blackwood set out to return a set of sheets to Caroline and after talking for a while, the two had consensual sex.  While lying in bed, Blackwood and Caroline began to quarrel.  She told him that she did not want to see him again and that, while they were dating, she had aborted six of his children.  Blackwood then reportedly strangled Caroline with his hands.

Blackwood fled Caroline’s home in her car, which he later abandoned.  He then hitchhiked to St. Petersburg, where he was later arrested.  Blackwood admitted to choking the victim and placing a bar of soap in her mouth, but claimed that she was still alive and breathing when he left.  Blackwood appeared to be surprised and upset when he learned that Caroline was dead.

The body of Caroline Thomas-Tynes was discovered on the evening of 01/06/95.  She was found lying naked in her bedroom.  A folded washcloth and a bar of soap were found lodged into the back of her throat.  There was some discrepancy as to whether a pillow was used in the asphyxiation. 

Caroline had bruises and marks on her neck that were evidence of manual and ligature strangulation.  A speaker wire, found on the floor next to the bed, proved to be consistent with the marks found on her neck. 

The medical examiner reported that Caroline Thomas-Tynes could have died from manual or ligature strangulation, from the soap and washcloth lodged in her throat, or from a pillow being placed over her face. 

Trial Summary:

02/01/95          Defendant indicted on the following charges:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder

12/05/96          The jury found the defendant guilty of First-Degree Murder.

01/23/97          Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by a 9 to 3 majority, voted for the imposition of the death penalty.

05/16/97          The defendant was sentenced as followed:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder - Death

Case Information:

Blackwood filed a Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 06/26/97.  In that appeal, he argued that the trial court erred in denying his motion for acquittal as the State’s evidence did not contradict his claim that he never intended to kill Caroline Thomas-Tynes.  Blackwood also contended that the trial court improperly admitted hearsay evidence. 

In reference to the penalty phase, Blackwood contested the consideration and application of aggravating and mitigating circumstances.  He also claimed that the trial court erred in excluding certain mental health reports. 

The Florida Supreme Court affirmed Blackwood’s conviction and sentence of death on 12/21/00.

Blackwood then filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, which was denied on 10/05/01. 

Blackwood next filed a 3.850 Motion in the State Circuit Court on 10/01/02.  The State filed a Motion to Strike that was granted on 11/20/02.  Blackwood re-filed his 3.850 Motion on 12/03/02.  A final order was issued on 07/23/03, denying the 3.850 Motion in part, but reversing the death sentence and remanding for a new penalty phase proceeding. 

Blackwood filed a 3.850 Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 09/02/03.  The State filed a Cross Appeal on 09/05/03.  Both Appeals are currently pending.

Blackwood filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus on 05/14/04 in the Florida Supreme Court that is currently pending.



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