The Morgan Township man who pleaded guilty to reckless
homicide, in connection with the shooting death of his son in 2009, has been
sentenced to time served and formal probation.
On Thursday, Arthur James Blum, 69, was sentenced to the 142
days which he had already served in the Porter County Jail and to 26 months
of formal probation, Blum’s attorney, John Vouga, told the Chesterton
Blum had originally been charged with murder in the death of
his son, Aaron Blum, 32, who was found deceased of a single gunshot wound
and Blum himself wounded in the chest in Blum’s truck on a country road in
Washington Township in August 2009.
In June, Blum pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of reckless
homicide, a Class C felony punishable by a term of two to eight years.
“Our main effort was to get the murder charge off the table
with the approach that there was no way in hell that a jury would find him
guilty of murder,” Vouga said. “There maybe was some level of criminal
recklessness involved in having a loaded handgun in plain sight in his
Blum’s son—who had come to live with his parents after being
released from jail on an OWI charge—“had huge issues,” Vouga added, and in
statements to investigators after the incident Blum said that “things
weren’t progressing very well” at home, that he had taken his son for a ride
on Aug. 2, 2009, with the idea of talking to him, but that things “started
getting out of hand fast” and “the next thing he knew, the gun was out,
there was a struggle, and the gun misfired.”
Blum subsequently shot himself with the same gun and was
found, with his son, wounded in his truck around 10:22 a.m. Aug. 3, on C.R.
Prior to Thursday’s sentencing hearing, Vouga presented a
voluminous sentencing memorandum to Porter Circuit Judge Mary Harper. In
that memorandum, Vouga documented Blum’s serious health issues and made a
number of arguments in favor of formal probation: that the crime of criminal
recklessness was the result of circumstances unlikely to recur; that Blum
has no criminal record at all and has “led a law-abiding life”; that Blum is
likely to respond well to probation; that his “character and attitude” are
such to indicate that he “is unlikely to commit another crime”; that
imprisonment will “result in undue hardship” to Blum; that he has shown
remorse and accepted responsibility by pleading guilty; and that he is
elderly and in poor health.
Vouga also included in the sentencing memorandum 63 letters
from those in the community acquainted with Blum, speaking to his character
as an “industrious, hardworking family man,” as one person described him,
and as a “kind and generous” man who “has already placed a very heavy burden
on himself and doesn’t need further punishment,” as another person did.