Hamilton County Prosecutor Brings Charges Against Suspect In Springdale Officer Death

Apr 8, 2020

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.