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Blamey murder trial begins

Darin Olde, Sierra Sun

NEVADA CITY – The trial of Ronald D. Blamey, the Truckee man accused of killing his wife – a Department of Justice special agent – began Wednesday in Nevada County Superior Court, with Blamey’s attorney claiming his client killed his wife in self-defense.

Assistant District Attorney Ronald A. Wolfson began his opening statements with a presentation that included dozens of slides showing Ron and Michiel Blamey and the evidence leading to the discovery of Michiel’s bludgeoned body in a field near Roseville.

Michiel Blamey did not show up for work in Sacramento on March 27, 2000, a day when she was scheduled to appear for an important meeting, said Wolfson.

Because it was unlike Michiel not to show or call in her absence, DOJ officials began trying to find her. Eventually they contacted the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office in Truckee.

Sgt. Tim Hargrove responded, said Wolfson, and soon discovered items splattered with blood in a vehicle parked near Blamey’s home.

The vehicle, authorities soon discovered, belonged to Ron Blamey.

“The evidence will show that Ron was cleaning up a horrific scene,” said Wolfson.

Thomas E. Viloria, the private attorney representing Blamey, did not dispute that Blamey had killed his wife, but claims it was an act of self-defense gone wrong.

“Ronald Blamey did not attempt to kill his wife,” said Viloria in his opening statements. “Did he make some bad decisions afterward – sure he did.”

Viloria did not dispute that a confrontation between the couple resulted in the death of Michiel Blamey. However, he did state that this was a minor confrontation that spun out of control.

“She was his soulmate, his partner and his best friend,” said Viloria of Michiel Blamey.

The opening statements of the two attorneys could not have been more different.

Wolfson’s opening statements chronicled the details by investigators that led to the discovery of Michiel’s body, wrapped in a U-Haul blanket, and allegedly left in such a way as to look like an attempted car-jacking and attempted rape.

He described the copious amounts of evidence that allegedly show Michiel was murdered by her husband of five years.

Viloria put himself in the position of his client, and described the condition of a woman who had become increasingly emotional as she approached the difficulties of old age, and the condition of a man who dearly loved his wife and responded to acts of violence that he felt were threatening his life.

“Ron drove for hours aimlessly, with no reason … and he thought ‘I’m going to kill myself,'” said Viloria.

The search for both Ron and Michiel Blamey began as local law enforcement officials discovered bloody clothes, several bloody paint buckets, bloody carpet, and what later became suspected murder weapons such as a 17.4 lb. rock, a steam iron and a razor blade in the defendant’s vehicle and at their home in Truckee.

More evidence was collected at another of the crime scenes where employees of the Office Max in Roseville found Michiel’s Ford Explorer in the parking lot running with the lights on, and what turned out to be many of her personal possessions – including her badge and identification – on the floor in clear view.

All of the events, said Wolfson, show that Ron Blamey was hoping to conceal that he had murdered his wife, and was attempting to return to Truckee to bury the evidence.

Wolfson described in wrenching detail and showed through graphic photos the trauma leading to Michiel’s death, leaving a ominous shroud over the 11 jurors.

“You’re going to hear that he was acting in self defense,” said Wolfson. “Look at the size (difference between the two).”

But Viloria said that Ronald felt threatened.

“Ronald Blamey will tell you that she picked up the first weapon,” said Viloria.

The trial will continue through the week.


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