Blandburg sentenced to 21 years for fatal shooting in Peachtree City

Thomas Blandburg. Photo/Fayette County Jail.
Thomas Blandburg. Photo/Fayette County Jail.

Peachtree City resident Thomas Blandburg last week entered a guilty plea in the Aug. 2, 2019 shooting death of Michael Tolbert, whose body was found behind the Wisdom Pointe shopping center in Peachtree City. Blandburg will serve 21 years in prison and 19 years on probation.

Acting District Attorney Marie Broder said 26-year-old Blandburg entered a guilty plea in Fayette Superior Court to one count of voluntary manslaughter, three counts of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Superior Court Judge Fletcher Sams sentenced Blandburg to 21 years to be served in prison, followed by 19 years to be served on probation. The case was prepared and prosecuted by Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Warren Sellers.

Broder said Blandburg pleaded guilty to shooting the victim, Michael Tolbert.

“The investigation by the Peachtree City Police Department revealed that Blandburg believed that an individual named Dontae Neal was selling drugs to his grandmother and that Michael Tolbert was delivering those drugs on behalf of Neal,” said Broder. “On Aug. 2, 2019, Blandburg’s mother drove Blandburg, his half-brother, and some friends to the Woodsmill Apartments in Peachtree City, where Blandburg believed that Neal lived.” The apartments are on Wisdom Road near its intersection with Ga. Highway 74 North.

“Once there, Michael Tolbert was spotted walking on a sidewalk in front of the apartment complex. Blandburg got out of the vehicle and fired 11 shots from a 9mm pistol at Tolbert. As Tolbert was ducking and running away, he was struck in the back with a 9 mm bullet. He bled to death as a result of injuries sustained from the gunshot.”

Tolbert’s body was found behind a Wisdom Pointe office building, a short distance from the apartments.

Broder noted that later on the morning of Aug. 3, Blandburg was outside of his grandmother’s residence (on Wynnmeade Parkway) when Neal drove up the street with two passengers. Blandburg ran towards the vehicle occupied by Neal and the passengers and fired several shots at the car.

The Peachtree City Police Department solved this case within 48 hours, Broder said.

Commenting on the investigation, Sellers said, “Following the discovery of the body, the Peachtree City Police Department worked around the clock to solve the crime. It took great dedication and team work to accomplish this result.”

Broder agreed, saying, “I am extremely proud of my team at the District Attorney’s office who worked in conjunction with the Peachtree City Police Department to obtain this result. Violent crime such as this will not be tolerated in Peachtree City, or in this Circuit. Our office and law enforcement will continue to fight to keep the streets of this community safe.”