SPRINGDALE, Ohio (WLWT) — A man accused of killing a Springdale police officer after ramming his car into her vehicle has now pleaded guilty.
Terry Blankenship, 43, pleaded guilty Friday to an aggravated murder charge in connection to the death of Officer Kaia Grant last March.
He was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years.
There was a clear intent to kill a police officer on March 21, 2020, as police tried to stop a suspect who was considered armed and dangerous, according to the Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters.
Deters believes Springdale Officer Kaia Grant was murdered on purpose by Blankenship, saying he intentionally swerved his truck towards Grant as the chase came to a deadly end.
She and Sgt. Andy Davis had parked their marked patrol vehicles along the side of I-275, just west of State Route 4.
According to the investigation, they got out of their vehicles and were prepared to deploy stop sticks as Blankenship’s pickup 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,” according to a media release. “The impact caused Officer Grant’s body to go airborne and cross the highway barrier and land on the opposite side of the highway.”
Davis was injured, but is now back on the job. Grant did not survive and the pain for Springdale police is profound.
Blankenship’s truck came to rest on the right side of the highway and, according to what investigators found, the impact activated Grant’s body camera. As she lay mortally wounded, a single gunshot was heard.
“Blankenship had extensive facial injuries as the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head,” a press release stated. “A loaded .45 caliber semi-automatic was found in Blankenship’s truck.”