Blamey gets 16 to life
NEVADA CITY – In an emotional and tense sentencing hearing Friday in Nevada County Superior Court, Ronald D. Blamey, 64, of Truckee, was sentenced to 16 years to life in prison for the killing of his wife, Michiel in March 2000.
Blamey, a retired contractor, moved to Truckee from San Diego with his wife in 1997.
Blamey admitted to investigators that he killed his wife, but said he did so in self-defense, fearing she was trying to pull a gun out of her purse during an early morning argument that turned deadly.
Michiel was a California Department of Justice special agent, and was reported missing by co-workers after failing to show up for work the next day.
Blamey dumped her body in a field near the town of Sheridan, Calif., then surrendered to police in Reno two days later.
He was convicted of second degree murder on June 19.
If he is released on parole after serving the mandatory 16 year sentence, Blamey will be more than 80 years old.
After the sentencing, relatives of the victim seemed relieved that Blamey would likely spend the rest of his natural life in prison.
“I think (the sentence) was appropriate,” said Michiel Blamey’s brother, Bob Dahose. “I thought it was a little light, but given his age, I’m satisfied with the sentence. It’s basically a life sentence.”
Prior to being sentenced, Blamey told the court, “I’m sorry. Mich’s death is my fault.”
He delivered a rambling, half-hour assessment of what he felt were shortcomings of the probation department’s report.
Citing his years of civilian service, lack of prior criminal history and seven years as a youth football coach, Blamey asked the court to grant probation and sentence him to community service. He said he could especially be of service to at-risk youth.
“The point is, I can still be of service to the community,” Blamey said.
In a brief closing statement, Defense Attorney Thomas E. Viloria told the court about a conversation he had with his client, then reiterated Blamey’s appeal for probation.
“I told him ‘When there is a death, there is a price to pay. The question is ‘What is the price?,'” he said. “I think it would be a terrible tragedy for Ronald Blamey to die in prison. This court can fashion a life sentence, suspend it, and grant probation.”
However Assistant Defense Attorney Ronald Wolfson said granting probation “would be unheard of” for a killing that was “particularly horrendous” and included the use of three weapons: a paint bucket, a steam iron and a 17-pound rock.
Judge John Darlington agreed with the prosecution, saying he didn’t feel probation would be appropriate for several reasons, including: the jury’s conviction of murder (as opposed to manslaughter), Blamey’s decision not to come forward with information despite several opportunities to do so, his “manipulation” of the crime scene and the extent of the injuries inflicted.
Darlington then added that during the altercation, Blamey acted “with malice and intent to kill.”
Prior to the sentencing, several members of the victim’s family made statements to the court and to Blamey.
“I cannot find the words to describe the depths of the pain I feel,” said Michiel Blamey’s daughter, Kelly, 32.
Blamey’s two sons were also present and spoke on behalf of their father.
“The responsibility of what happened does not fall solely on the person sitting here,” Jim Blamey said, referring to his father and sticking with the defense’s contention that Michiel started the altercation.
After the proceedings, Viloria expressed frustration with the sentencing options.
“In my view, there needs to be a middle ground (for sentencing). The judge was left with no middle ground. He either had to grant probation, or a life sentence,” he said.
On Tuesday, Viloria said he expects his client to appeal.
“We do anticipate filing an appeal on behalf on Mr. Blamey.”
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