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Justin Blake found guilty in 2019 Morgan County murder case

Justin Blake, who was found guilty in the murder of Alex Jackson, will find out his sentencing April 1.

MARTINSVILLE, Ind. — A jury in Morgan County found Justin Blake guilty of murder in the death of Alex Jackson. The decision was announced Wednesday night.

Blake will find out his sentencing April 1. 

Britney Overton, who testified against Blake last week, has also been charged with murder. Overton testified with use immunity, which means nothing Overton said on the witness stand can be used against her in her trial, scheduled for May 10. She was not offered a plea deal for her testimony.

Jackson's decomposing body was found Sept. 13, 2019, in a ditch along Mann Road in northern Morgan County with a gunshot wound to the head.

In her testimony, Overton said she and Jackson were friends, and she had casual sex with Blake a couple of times. According to Overton, Blake and Jackson had only met perhaps once before Sept. 8.

Overton testified that the three of them shoplifted earrings, makeup, food and tools from several stores that evening. She testified that Jackson, who was gay, suggested they rob some people and said he knew of potential victims he could contact on Grindr, an online dating app for gay people.

The three discussed that they needed a gun for the robbery, and Overton said that Blake said he knew someone. They picked up a man, referred to only as K.J. She then saw a "glizzy" gun with an extended clip in the back seat with Blake and K.J.

Overton said the four of them went to an apartment complex on the west side of Indianapolis to meet a man Jackson connected with on Grindr under the pretense of a drug deal. Overton said she stayed in the car while the three men got out. Overton testified that Blake pistol-whipped the victim, then the three men went into the victim's apartment and stole a laptop, an Xbox, credit cards and marijuana.

At some point during the crime spree, Overton testified that Blake expressed concern that Jackson seemed like he "might be a snitch."

Overton said later in the night while she was driving Jackson's rental car, Blake told her where to drive, and she did not know where they were going. Blake told her to stop the car in a wooded area. She said Blake and K.J. got out of the back seat. Overton said she saw Blake waving the gun and motioning for Jackson to get out of the car. 

Overton testified that Blake told Jackson, "Alex, you know what time it is."

Shortly after, she heard Jackson scream and several gunshots in rapid fire. Overton said Blake and K.J. got back in the car and told her to drive. She saw K.J. throw Jackson’s wallet and phone out the window into a corn field.

Credit: LaLonna Jackson
Alex Jackson

How Blake and Overton were identified as suspects

Police arrested Blake, along with Overton, after a 13-month investigation into a badly decomposed body found along North Mann Road in Mooresville.

Police released an image of a shirt similar to the one the victim was wearing and ultimately identified the body as Jackson's. The sheriff's office said Jackson had been shot.

In court documents, Overton's sister said Britney was upset with Jackson for allegedly stealing money from her. During the investigation, one of the people police was talking to called Overton, and she told them she didn't know anything but heard Jackson was dead.

Credit: Morgan County Sheriff's Office
Britney D. Overton, 26, and Justin M. Blake, 19, both of Indianapolis.

David Good, Jackson's father, who lives in Springfield, Illinois, spoke with 13News at the time of the arrests.

"Britney was a really, really close friend to Alex," Good said. "How do you do that to somebody that you were friends with? And I don't understand how you leave him out there for the animals. He had no flesh left on him."

In the court documents, Blake's grandmother told police that Blake told her he had killed a man. Blake allegedly said he thought the man was going to kill him, so he instead shot the man five times. He then showed his grandmother a news story about Jackson's body being found.

Court records also show Overton allegedly tried to get a gun just days before Jackson's murder and removed him as a Facebook friend just minutes after police believe Jackson was killed. 

"Britney Overton has a plethora of Facebook records where she is out there looking for a gun ... talking about the victim in this case that actually robbed her of some money," Blake's attorney, Ryan Dillon, said. "[She] has the motive. She's got the ability. She's got one means. She's got the connections."

Overton's DNA was also found on a key ring investigators found along with Jackson's DNA. Police checking her cellphone found that it connected with a tower a half-mile from the crime scene on the day police suspect Jackson was killed.

"He had so many dreams, so it's just not real that I am not going to be able to call him at 3 o'clock in the morning," Jackson's best friend, Ashton Manson, said at the time. "When I first realized that this was Alex, I just felt numb. I just kind of sat there and was like 'Alex is dead. He is dead.'"

"It just opens a lot of wounds back up," Good said. "You try to put it to the side. You're about to get over it. Now, I have another long journey with all the court cases. You sit there and just stare off in space. You just see, and you have flashbacks. This is an emotional roller coaster."

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