By Associated Press - Friday, April 30, 2021

CINCINNATI (AP) - A man accused of killing a police officer by crashing into her during a chase last year has pleaded guilty to aggravated murder.

Terry Blankenship, 43, entered his plea Friday as part of a deal with Hamilton County prosecutors, who agreed to not seek a death sentence. He then received a life term, though he will be eligible to seek parole after serving 30 years.

Springdale officer Kaia Grant, 33, was killed on March 21, 2020 after she was struck while Blankenship was fleeing police.

Police were trying to arrest Blankenship on a felony warrant from Blanchester, Ohio. When the chase entered the Springdale city limits on Interstate 275, Grant and Sgt. Andrew Davis were trying to deploy stop sticks when Blankenship crashed into the pair.

Davis was treated for injuries and survived. Authorities have said Blankenship survived a self-inflicted gunshot to the head after the crash.

Grant had been with the Springdale force for seven years. Authorities have said she was the first police officer to be killed in the line of duty in the northern Cincinnati suburb’s history.

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