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Nokomis man denies hitting man in head with hammer




DECATUR — Daniel R. Blazich will be sent for trial on charges he tried to kill a Decatur man by hitting him in the head with a hammer and then holding on to the man while an accomplice shot the victim twice.

Blazich, 52, of Nokomis, appeared in Macon County Circuit Court pleading not guilty to charges of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated battery. Judge James Coryell presided over a preliminary hearing for Blazich Wednesday and found there was probable cause to try him.

Man wanted for first-degree murder, 2 men arrested for attempted murder, police say

Giving evidence earlier, Decatur police Detective Brad Hall said the case dates to June 14 when police investigated a shooting that occurred at the intersection of East Pershing Road and North 25th Street. The victim had suffered two gunshot wounds to his left leg that shattered the femur bone and he also suffered multiple broken ribs.

Under questioning from Macon County State’s Attorney Jay Scott, Hall said the victim described how he had planned to buy methamphetamine from a man police named as Kevin C. Jophlin, who is now also facing an attempted murder charge. The victim said he told Jophlin he needed to make change and asked to be taken to a gas station.



Hall quotes the victim as saying Jophlin agreed to take him and the victim got into the back of his car with a man later identified as Blazich riding as the front seat passenger.

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Hall said the victim described beginning to feel nervous when the vehicle drove past several gas stations without stopping. At that point, he said the passenger suddenly turned around and hit him in the head with a hammer as Jophlin pulled out a handgun. The now terrified victim said he began escaping the vehicle by climbing out through a rear window while the passenger was trying to stop him by grabbing his legs and that was when he suffered the gunshot wounds.

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The victim still managed to break free, however, and climbed on top of the moving vehicle. “... At which point the driver slammed on the brakes and he flew into the roadway?” asked Scott.

“Yes,” replied the detective.

He said the victim would identify Jophlin from a photo lineup and Jophlin later named Blazich as the passenger.

Defense attorney Dave Ellison asked Hall if the victim had ever identified Blazich, and the detective said he had not. Ellison had no further questions.

Coryell scheduled the case for a pretrial hearing on Nov. 4. Blazich is being held in the Macon County Jail with no bail available.

A check of court records shows that Jophlin, 30, of Rantoul, is pleading not guilty to charges of attempted murder and aggravated battery. His case is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Tuesday and he remains in custody with bail set at $500,000, meaning he must post $50,000 to be released.

2020 mug shots from the Herald & Review 

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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