Home invader gets 55-year sentence

A Jack County jury found Jeffery Blankenship, 47, guilty of aggravated robbery in a three-day trial which concluded last Thursday. District Judge Brock Smith sentenced him to 55 years in prison.

It took most of the day Tuesday to select the jury of eight women and four men which brought the verdict after about an hour and half of deliberation late Thursday afternoon.

Aggravated robbery is robbery committed using a deadly weapon, but also includes robbery in which a person is placed in fear of imminent bodily injury or death if the person is disabled or 65 years old or older. Though Damien Hooten, was the partner reported to have been holding the gun in the robbery, the jury decided Blankenship’s role warranted the first-degree felony charge carrying up to 99 years or life in penalties.

The victim, Shakeel Ahmed, was 68 at the time of the incident during the early evening of Aug. 28, 2017, in which Blankenship and Hooten visited his home on Dos Equis Ranch Road claiming to have information about suspicious activity on the property. Ahmed invited them in for beers.

His testimony said Hooten asked to go outside for a cigarette. Ahmed said he did not hear the door open but heard a pistol behind his head being dry fired and attempting to load another shell in the chamber.

Ahmed testified that he asked Blankenship if he was involved in the robbery during the incident and was told he was. The defense questioned why that was not in Ahmed’s statement to the police at the time of the incident.

To read the complete article see the Feb. 27 edition of the Herald-Gazette.

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