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Man Convicted in Hammer Slayings of Wife, Son

October 31, 1996

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) _ Life in prison is a just sentence for a man who bludgeoned his wife and blind, disabled son to death with a hammer as they slept in a motel room, the victims’ family says.

Jurors deliberated a little less than two hours on Wednesday before deciding that Robert Blair was sane and guilty of first-degree murder in the deaths of his wife, Sandra, 36, and his 8-year-old son, Justin.

``We were concerned that Bob would get away with what we think is pre-meditated murder,″ said Keith Moncrief, Sandra Blair’s brother. ``While nothing can ever make things right, justice was served as far as man is able.″

Jurors decided the 50-year-old Blair was not suffering from a mental illness when he committed the crime in March.

Judge Kathleen McGuire sentenced Blair to two consecutive life terms in New Hampshire State Prison.

``We’re very satisfied for the family,″ said Associate Attorney General Michael Ramsdell. ``It was a tremendous tragedy and ordeal for them to have to go through.″

The murders occurred in a roadside motel in Concord, where the family had been living for two weeks after they were evicted from their apartment in Springfield, Mass.

Friends and family of Mrs. Blair had said the long trail to the motel was filled with poverty and psychological abuse that began 10 years ago when the couple married in Springfield.

They portrayed Blair as a loner who never held a job, forcing the family to live off of handouts and disability checks for Justin and Mrs. Blair, who had been injured in a car wreck in 1978.

Blair had testified that an angel of God told him to kill the boy, who was legally blind and had cerebral palsy. He said he killed his wife, Sandra, after she tried to talk him out of killing the boy.

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