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March 14 shooting suspect pleads ‘not guilty,’ claims insanity

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On Thursday, March 28, the Yellow Springs Police Department served Jackson Isaiah Bleything, 22, with an indictment in connection to a fatal shooting that occurred in Yellow Springs on Thursday, March 14.

According to a statement from Yellow Springs Police Chief Paige Burge, released March 28, Bleything was indicted on 14 charges, including aggravated murder, murder, felonious assault, improperly discharging a firearm into a habitation or school safety zone, tampering with evidence, possessing criminal tools and inducing panic.

Since his arraignment last week, Bleything has entered a plea of “not guilty” by reason of insanity. Pending the court’s motion for competency — which determines a defendant’s mental acuity — a tentative trial date has been set for Monday, May 20.

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Bleything, a Springfield resident and 2020 graduate of Yellow Springs High School, has been in custody at the Greene County Jail since his arrest Sunday, March 17 — three days after the fatal shooting. He is being held on $1 million bail. If convicted as charged, Bleything faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

According to a press release from the Greene County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Bleything’s indictment alleges that he, “with prior calculation and design, purposefully caused the death of the victim as a result of a gunshot wound to the head.”

The victim of the March 14 shooting has been identified as Yellow Springs resident Connie Vang, 71.

In Vang’s obituary, which appeared in the March 29 issue of the News, she is described as having been “the embodiment of hearth and home for so many, and was one of the kindest and most beautiful humans.”

Thursday’s police statement was also one of gratitude and appreciation; Chief Burge stated that the Bureau of Criminal Investigations was “instrumental in bringing this investigation to a swift resolution.”

“Additionally, there were dozens of individuals from multiple disciplines and counties whose efforts do not go unnoticed,” the statement continued. “We are grateful for the countless hours, resources and expertise of all involved.  We also extend our appreciation to the community. Many residents have reached out to extend their kind thoughts to the Police Department and those directly impacted by these incidents, for that we thank each and every one of you.”


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