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Hamilton County Prosecutor Brings Charges Against Suspect In Springdale Officer Death

kaia grant
Courtesy of WCPO
Officer Kaia Grant was struck and killed during a pursuit in late March.

Hamilton County's prosecutor is requesting that the Ohio Attorney General sign an aggravated murder charge for the killing of a Springdale police officer.

"The purposeful killing of a police officer under Ohio law is a death penalty case," Prosecutor Joe Deters says.

It'll be up to a grand jury to determine the defendant's intent.

Terry Blankenship allegedly struck and killed officer Kaia Grant during a pursuit in late March. Grant was laying sticks with a colleague when the incident occurred. The second officer was also struck and is now back at work.

When he struck Grant, Blankenship reportedly was fleeing a traffic stop in Elmwood Place for an arrest warrant from Clinton County. A Hamilton County jury may be able to consider the charges in Clinton County if it finds there is a connection between the two incidents.

"I'm confident that the defendant will be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt," Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost says.

Deters says he also feels confident in a guilty verdict based on evidence.

Ohio's governor and Supreme Court issued guidance that will delay the grand jury convening due to the coronavirus pandemic. "This matter will go to a Hamilton County grand jury sometime in late April because of the direction of the state governor to stay quarantined," Deters says.

He says it won't impact the right to a speedy trial since state officials waived the period until July 31.

The Springdale Police Department says Grant is the first officer to be killed on duty.