An Ohio prosecutor says a grand jury has charged a man on 10 counts that include an intensified murder charge that offers a potential death penalty in the killing of a police officer.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters declared that the charges Wednesday against Larry Blankenship, 42, accused of killing a police officer by crashing into her during a pursuit.
Blankenship is charged with killing an officer on duty on purpose, which has a death term with conviction. He also is charged with murder, which could result in a life sentence.
Springdale officer Kaia Grant, 33, was killed March 21 after she was struck while Blankenship was purportedly escaping police.
Police were trying to arrest Blankenship on an offense warrant from Blanchester, Ohio. When the pursuit entered the Springdale city limits on Interstate 275, Grant and Sgt. Andrew Davis were trying to deploy stop stocks when Blankenship assertedly crashed into the pair. Davis was treated for injuries and somehow survived.
Deters has said Blankenship survived a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.
Blankenship is being held on $2 million bonds. Records didn’t show whether he has a lawyer who could speak on his behalf.
Grant had been working with the Springdale force for eight years. Police said she was the first police officer to be killed in the line of duty in the northern Cincinnati suburb’s history.