Those flipping through the TV channels Sunday night might have stumbled upon a familiar Eunice face on the Oxygen Network.
Jimmie Jones, Eunice Police chief, was on the newest episode of Criminal Confessions, which featured the story of the homicide of Darrell Blagg, 40, of Eunice, on Aug. 11, 2006.
Jones said he watched the show when it aired at 5 p.m. Sunday and said it was neat to see how the episode was put together and to watch it in its entirety.
“It was a pretty neat experience,” Jones said. “It’s definitely not something that I’ve ever done before. I’ve been on local news channels and things like that for different incidents that have taken place, but to see yourself on a national TV show is kind of nerve-wracking and exciting all at the same time. It was neat as far as it being a TV show and to get to see something that you were involved in on national TV.”
Jones said he got phone calls and messages from friends and family from around the country telling him they saw him on the Oxygen Network.
“It’s kind of cool when you have people that are your friends and family that call you out of state and say I just saw you on TV,” Jones said. “I had an old sports coach from my youth years who lives several states away that sent me a message saying we just say you on TV.” Jones said Eunice Police Sergeant Chuck Dudley, who was a Eunice Police officer at the time of the homicide, and himself were interviewed and filmed for the Criminal Confessions show in May. He said the hardwork put in by state and local police officers paid off in this case.
“The impact that the whole scenario had on the family was a horrible situation,” Jones said. “I appreciate the New Mexico State Police, the Eunice Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office being able to work together to actually get a confession in this case. This is something that could of been easy for this case to slip through the cracks. I think that the New Mexico State Police agents that were involved in the interview and the investigation did a wonderful job.”
Blagg’s death was first reported at around 3:30 p.m., Aug. 11, 2006, when Eunice police responded to the home of Blagg after his wife Stephanie reported finding him suffering from a gunshot wound inside the home. Blagg was pronounced dead at the scene. New Mexico State police took over the investigation at the request of the Eunice Police Department.
The investigation went on for about two years and led to the initial arrest of Stephanie, 39, of Eunice, for the crime and charged with murder, but further investigation revealed the involvement of Billy Kelley, 39, of Lubbock and Juan Muro, 30, of Eunice. Muro was the individual who shot Darrell in his home in Eunice, which he confessed in doing during an interview with State police. Muro was sentenced to 16 years after we was convicted of second-degree murder.
Stephanie 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 was also sentenced to nine years.
“I was employed by the New Mexico State Police when it happened and I was working in the narcotics investigations section,” Jones said. “My only involvement in the case was they sent me down to Lea County to follow Mrs. Blagg, which she was a suspect and the spouse of the individual that was murdered. They sent me down to follow her around and basically keep eyes on her while they were going out looking for the possible murder weapon in Eunice.”
The Criminal Confessions episode on the Eunice homicide can be viewed on the Oxygen Network.