Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 11 years
Badge # 971
Cause: Vehicular assault
Incident Date: 1/29/2003
Weapon: Automobile; Alcohol involved
Suspect: Sentenced to 56 years
Trooper Michael Blanton was killed after stopping a driver suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol on the Gaskins Road exit ramp from I-64.
Trooper Blanton was reaching inside the suspect's car when the driver sped off, dragging him for several hundred yards before crashing. The car rolled over, pinning Trooper Blanton underneath. Trooper Blanton was transported to MCV Hospital where he later died.
The suspect was apprehended a short time later by Henrico County police officers, who found him running on a nearby road. The suspect was charged with capital murder, felony hit-and-run, and other charges.
On September 27, 2003, the suspect was convicted of second degree murder and eluding a police officer, but was acquitted of abduction. He was sentenced to 56 years in prison.
Trooper Blanton had been employed with the Virginia State Police for five years. He had also served with the Henrico County Sheriff's Department for two years, and was a United States Air Force security policeman for four years. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran, and is survived by his wife and 6 year-old son.