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2006 Eunice murder case retold by investigative TV series


Chuck Dudley and Tony Harris stand outside the scene of the crime in Eunice, New Mexico. Courtesy Investigation Discovery

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — On Aug. 11, 2006, 40-year-old Darrell Blagg came home from work expecting to be greeted by his wife, Stephanie.

Instead, he was gunned down by a mysterious intruder inside his Eunice home.

Twelve years later, the case is being revisited by the TV series, “Scene of the Crime with Tony Harris.” The episode is titled “Three is the Deadliest Number,” and it premieres at 8 p.m. today on Investigation Discovery.

Harris is a former news anchor for Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera America and CNN. He has been at the helm of the TV show for two seasons.

The series takes Harris deep into small-town America to pull back the curtain on the often-nefarious players and foreboding places at the center of crimes that happened there.

Harris traveled to Eunice and spent about a week filming and conducting interviews.

“This is an amazing story. It’s sad and horrific,” Harris says. “It’s really intriguing to follow this story.”

On the day Blagg was shot to death, he was working in the oil patch and doing the best to take care of his family, Harris says.

“When he walked into his home a hail of gunfire rang out,” he says. “The crime photos are awful. I knew we had to dig further.”

Eunice police began the investigation, which was later handed off to the New Mexico State Police.

The investigation went on for about two years and led to the arrest of Stephanie, 39, of Eunice, for the crime. She was charged with murder.

Further investigation revealed the involvement of Billy Kelley, 39, of Lubbock, Texas, and Juan Muro, 30, of Eunice.

Harris says Muro was the individual who shot Blagg, which he confessed to during an interview with police. He was sentenced to 16 years after he was convicted of second-degree murder.

Stephanie Blagg pleaded guilty to solicitation to commit first-degree murder and was sentenced to nine years.

Kelley also pleaded guilty to solicitation to commit first-degree murder, as well as conspiracy to solicit first-degree murder. He also was sentenced to nine years.

Working on the case were Detective Tim Argo and Sgt. Detective Monica Martinez-Jones, both of the New Mexico State Police.

“Monica and Tim continued to work on the case and they finally cracked the case with a couple of leads,” Harris says. “That’s where my journey begins. I talked with Darrell’s family and they displayed a lot of determination and worked with the detectives. It’s a complicated case and there’s a plea bargain at the end that is controversial.”

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