Titusville murder suspect accepts 40-year sentence in plea agreement

First degree-murder charge against Daniel Blair downgraded

A convicted felon will serve 40 years in prison for killing a man.

VIERA, Fla. – In a Brevard County courtroom Friday, a 41-year-old convicted felon was ordered to return to prison for the next 40 years.

Daniel Blair accepted a plea agreement in the homicide case of 63-year-old Chris Johnston.

Prosecutors said Blair was familiar with Johnston’s Titusville house before March 21 when on that morning, Blair broke in and demanded Johnston withdraw money for him.

Prosecutors said inside the Kirby Drive house, Johnston fought back but Blair strangled him.

The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office then said Blair stole Johnston’s pickup truck and drove to Ormond Beach, where eight hours later he crashed while under pursuit.

Johnston’s Titusville church, St. Gabriel’s Episcopal, said Johnston dedicated his life to helping recovering addicts and he helped each week with the church’s food pantry.

Blair does not have the possibility of parole and his 40-year sentence on the murder charge will run concurrent with other charges in his plea agreement.

Blair served 15 years in prison on a robbery conviction before he was released from the department of corrections in 2018.

About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.