On June 18, 1992, Marilyn Blumberg discovered her husband, George Blumberg, dead behind the counter of the pawnshop that they owned and ran together.
He had received blunt head trauma, possibly from being hit with a camera, had been stabbed three times in the neck with a pair of scissors, and had been hit several times in the head with a hammer. The one relevant fingerprint found by police belonged to Keith Witteman, who Sliney implicated in his testimony.
Witness, Kenneth Dobbins, testified that he saw two young men enter the store and speak with Blumberg about a piece of jewelry. Composite sketches were drawn from Dobbins’ description.
An officer showed the sketch to his stepdaughter’s boyfriend, Thomas Capeles, because he was in the same age group as the suspects and might know them. Capeles did not recognize either individual. Capeles, however, later contacted the officer because Jack Sliney, manager of Club Manta Ray, offered to sell him a gun, and Sliney looked similar to one of the men in the composite sketches.
Capeles agreed to assist in the investigation, and a controlled gun buy was arranged. The serial number of the gun that was bought from Sliney matched the gun registry from the Blumberg’s pawnshop. Another controlled gun buy was arranged, and these guns also matched the pawnshop registry. Sliney was arrested shortly after the second gun sale.
Sliney confessed to the murder of Blumberg in both a taped oral statement and in a written statement.
Sliney told officers that he and Witteman went into the store and argued with Blumberg over the price of a necklace. He reported that Witteman told him to hit Blumberg and then said that he would have to kill Blumberg because the victim could identity them.
Sliney admitted to hitting Blumberg in the head with a camera, stabbing him with scissors, and finally hitting him with a hammer.
During the trial, Sliney testified that Witteman killed Blumberg, which contradicted his original statement to the police.