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May 7, 2021

Trial of man charged in 2006 murder set to begin today

By Shavonne Potts
spotts@salisburypost.com
A former Cleveland resident charged with the 2006 murder of a 62-year-old man is expected to stand trial starting today.
Bradley Paul Blymyer, 25, is one of two men charged with first-degree murder in the beating death of Jimmie Edgar Musselwhite. Musselwhite was found dead in his Verlen Drive mobile home off Old Concord Road. Joshua Lee Shaffer is awaiting trial.
Blymyer, who does not face the death penalty, is also charged with felony breaking and entering and felony larceny after breaking and entering.
In November 2006, family friend Kathy McBride went to Musselwhite’s home to check on him and found he’d been tied to a chair and beaten.
“It was a gruesome crime scene,” Rowan County Sheriff George Wilhelm said in March 2007.
Authorities never confirmed how Musselwhite died, but they suspected early on in the investigation that he’d been dead for at least a day.
Musselwhite, who lived alone, lived in the mobile home for 14 years.
The last time friends had seen Musselwhite was the Sunday before his death. He’d left a gathering complaining of pain.
Investigators said he had several health problems. Ronnie Gaultney, a friend, said Musselwhite had undergone triple bypass surgery a year before his death. He also suffered pain from his years working in the mills.
In early 2007, Rowan County Sheriff George Wilhelm said a DNA sample taken from the crime scene linked Blymyer to the murder. The DNA sample was collected by investigators with the Sheriff’s Office who turned it over to technicians with the State Bureau of Investigation.
Wilhelm said Blymyer had moved to Louisville, Ky. and was working a temporary job there when arrested.
Blymyer has been in the Rowan County jail since being returned to North Carolina in March 2007.
Shaffer was arrested a month after Blymyer.
Shaffer is also charged with felony breaking and entering and felony larceny after breaking and entering.
Blymyer and Shaffer will not be tried together.

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