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Man faces murder charge after grandfather wounded in shooting dies

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published January 31, 2014 at 8:48 a.m. Updated January 31, 2014 at 10:02 a.m.

justin-bledsoe

Justin Bledsoe

A Little Rock man accused of opening fire on his mother and grandfather is now facing a murder charge after the grandfather died.

Justin Bledsoe, 25, was booked into the Pulaski County jail on a new charge of first-degree murder early Friday morning.

Pulaski County Coroner Gerone Hobbs said Bledsoe's grandfather, 77-year-old James Bledsoe, died at St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center in Little Rock on Jan. 17. His body was sent to the state Crime Laboratory for an autopsy, which is still pending, but Hobbs said the cause of death would be tied to the gunshot wounds Bledsoe suffered in the Nov. 2 attack.

Police said officers responded early that morning to 7305 Marcia Drive, where James Bledsoe had opened fire on his mother and then his grandfather in their rooms in the residence.

The mother, Jacqueline Bledsoe, suffered gunshot wounds in the leg not believed to be life-threatening, but James Bledsoe's condition was described as grave the day after the shooting.

Police said they didn't know the motive for the shooting.

Bledsoe was originally arrested on two counts of second-degree domestic battery, two counts of aggravated assault on a family or household member, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance with purpose to deliver, simultaneous possession of guns and drugs, and first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor.

Jail records show Bledsoe was released Nov. 16 on $350,000 bond after his initial arrest on Nov. 2.

In a preliminary court appearance on the new charge Friday morning, Little Rock District Judge Alice Lightle revoked Bledsoe's previous bail and set a new one at $500,000. A preliminary innocent plea was also entered.

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