Today, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announced the 10 count indictment of Terry Blankenship (DOB 12/13/77). Blankenship is now charged with 1 count of Aggravated Burglary (ORC Section 2911.11 (A) (2) Felony 1 with a 3 year gun specification), and 1 count of Felonious Assault (ORC Section 2903.11 (A) (2) Felony 2 with a 3 year gun specification) for incidents that occurred on March 19th in Clinton County, Ohio.
The remaining 8 counts are for offenses committed on March 21st in Hamilton County, Ohio which resulted in the death of Springdale Officer Kaia Grant:
- CT 3: 1 count of Weapon Under Disability (ORC Section 2923.13 (A) (1) Felony 3);
- CT 4: 1 count of Failure to Comply (ORC Section 2921.331(B) Felony 3 with a 1 year gun specification);
- CT 5: 1 count of Aggravated Murder (Special Felony) in violation of Ohio Revised Code 2903.01 (E) for the purposeful killing of a police officer while on duty; (death penalty specification and 1 year gun specification);
- CT 6: 1 count of Murder (ORC Section 2903.02(B) Special Felony 15 years – life with a 1 year gun specification);
- CT 7: Felonious Assault (ORC Section 2903.11 (A) (1) Felony 1 with a 1 year gun specification);
- CT 8: Felonious Assault (ORC Section 2903.11(A) (2) Felony 1 with 1 year gun specification);
- CT 9: Aggravated Vehicular Homicide (ORC Section 2903.06 (A) (1) (a) Felony 2 with a peace officer specification and 1 year gun specification);
- CT 10: Aggravated Vehicular Homicide (ORC Section 2903.06(A) (2) (a) Felony 3 with a peace officer specification and 1 year gun specification).
The Clinton County charges may be prosecuted in Hamilton County as a continuing course of conduct.
On March 19th Blankenship broke into his estranged wife’s home in Clinton County, Ohio and pistol whipped a friend of his wife who was in the residence. The homeowner and friend called 911 but when the
police arrived, Blankenship had fled the residence. A warrant was issued for his arrest for Aggravated Burglary. As part of the police investigation, the police reviewed text messages he sent to his estranged wife and conversations he had with his mother indicating that the police would have to kill him as he was not willing to go back to jail.
On March 21st at approximately 8:00 p.m. Blankenship was spotted in Elmwood Place. The Elmwood Place Police Department unsuccessfully attempted to stop him before he got in his pick-up truck and fled. A chase ensued on N/B I-75.
Uniformed Springdale Police Officers Kaia Grant and Sgt. Andy Davis parked their marked patrol vehicles on I-275 west of State Route 4 and got out of their vehicles and stood ready to deploy their stop sticks as Blankenship’s pick-up truck approached. With no obstacles in his way, Blankenship made a sudden turn toward the officers and drove directly into the police officers and their marked police vehicles. Neither officer was able to deploy their stop sticks. The impact caused Officer Grant’s body to go airborne and cross the highway barrier and land on the opposite side of the highway.
Blankenship’s truck came to rest on the right side of the highway. The impact of the crash turned on Officer Grant’s body worn camera. The camera activated at approximately 8:15 p.m. and a single gunshot is heard coming from Blankenship’s vehicle. Blankenship sustained extensive facial injuries as the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. A loaded .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun was found in Blankenship’s truck. No shots were fired by any police officers on the scene.
Officer Grant was flown to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center where she was pronounced dead. The Hamilton County Coroner ruled her death a homicide as the result of blunt force trauma.
Prosecutor Deters commented, “The murder of a police officer in the line of duty is one of the most despicable crimes anyone could commit.
Kaia was attempting to stop an armed, violent criminal who had vowed not to be taken alive.
Blankenship deserves to die for this obscenity. Under Ohio law, the punishment is appropriate. The resources of my office will do whatever necessary to deliver justice to Kaia’s family and to the community.”