Van Noy told the jury during closing arguments that Blanton has intermittent explosive disorder and, while in the military, Blanton developed training to react to certain types of threats. He said that Blanton was struck during the argument and his instincts kicked in.
“No one is saying that he suffered some wound, no one is saying that he suffered some grave injury,” Van Noy said. “What we are saying is in the moments right after that, he lost those seconds.”
In rebuttal, Montgomery County Assistant Prosecutor John Amos dismissed the defense, saying that Blanton has a short temper and didn’t like being told no.
He said Blanton wanted to take their son for the day and Connally told him no, prompting the argument and eventual gunfire.
“The level of violence that he rose to, and escalated to, is beyond comprehension for most of us, and it should be,” Amos said. “It shows what kind of man he is, and I use that term ‘man’ loosely.”
He said Blanton wants to use his military service as a shield, but also noted that he was kicked out of the service.
“Last time we checked. Marines don’t shoot unarmed civilians, and they certainly don’t shoot and kill the mother of their own children in front of the child. That is disgraceful, it is despicable, in fact, it is about as close to despicable as I could imagine.” the assistant prosecutor said.
Amos said Connally was killed execution-style and Blanton was coming up with excuses to try to avoid punishment.
A sentencing hearing was set for later this month.