By Charlotte Smith
The trial for a Wilmington man who is charged in the 2017 Christmas weekend shooting death of Allen W. Blanchard, 34, also of Wilmington started Monday in the Bladen County Superior Court .
David Wayne Gore, 54, owner of Gore Marine in Wilmington, was charged with felony second degree murder for the shooting death of Blanchard, however the charges have since been changed to first degree murder and additional charges have been filed. The two additional charges Gore faces are first degree kidnapping and second degree kidnapping.
Jury selection began on Monday, May 20th and by Tuesday afternoon the jury was selected. Wednesday morning the trail started with opening arguments and evidence presented by the state.
Gore is represented by Buddy Allard of the Hewlett, Collins and Allard, LLP law firm in Wilmington.
According to the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, Gore came to Bladen County on Saturday, December 23rd, 2017, in search of a stolen boat. According to reports, the boat, which was stolen from Gore Marine, was valued at $200,000.
According to the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, Gore was following up on a tip the boat had been spotted on NC 210 near Bladen County. He had stopped at an old saw mill on NC 210. The mill was formerly operated by Squires Timber according to the report. Mr. Gore was reportedly walking around it when he encountered Ryan Ciro Thau and Blanchard.
Thau and Blanchard were reported to have been loading scrap metal into a truck at the abandoned mill when Gore confronted them and an altercation ensued. During the altercation, Blanchard was shot by Gore. Blanchard was airlifted from the scene to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, where he later succumbed to his injuries.
Officials with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office said back in February 2018 that Blanchard and Thau had no connection to the missing boat. Thau was charged with felony larceny after the mills owners said no one had permission to be on the property.