Murder trial begins for man and step-son accused of fatally shooting a man in 2020

Williams Blankenship and Lane Wootan facing up to life in prison if found guilty

SAN ANTONIO – A murder trial where a man and his stepson are having their cases tried together began Wednesday.

Williams Blankenship, 61, and Lane Wootan, 25, are accused of the murder of Josh Fowler in December 2020.

Wootan’s mother, who is Blankenship’s wife — Jennifer Blankenship — was also arrested for the crime, but has chosen to have her case tried separately.

Fowler, 24, was visiting a home in the 6800 block of Loop 1604 East when he was shot.

The affidavit said a witness told them he saw Fowler run out of the home as a vehicle pulled up with the three suspects inside.

The affidavit said the Blankenships were armed with handguns and Wootan was carrying a rifle.

Williams Blankenship had his gun in a holster and was carrying two clubs in his hands, the affidavit said.

Josh Fowler, 24, was visiting a home in the 6800 block of Loop 1604 East in December 2020 when he was shot and killed. The suspects, Lane Wootan, 25, and Williams Blankenship, are on trial for his death. (Copyright 2022 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

The witness told sheriff’s investigators that Fowler and Wootan began to fight in the backyard, and at one point, Williams Blankenship handed Wootan one of the clubs to use against Fowler.

The affidavit said the witness told investigators he heard shots, one that sounded like a handgun and one from a rifle, ring out around the same time, and then saw Fowler fall to the ground, screaming.

As he ran to help Fowler, Jennifer Blankenship threatened that he would end up dead if he called the police, the witness said.

Fowler was rushed to a hospital where he later died.

The murder trial for Williams Blankenship and Wootan is being heard in the 226th District Court by presiding Judge Velia Meza.

If found guilty, both are facing a possible maximum punishment of up to life in prison.


About the Author:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.