Man who drove off in Kouts cop car is sentenced
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent October 1, 2012 2:42PM
William Blankeship III. | Provided Photo~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 3, 2012 6:15AM
The Knox man who stole a Kouts police squad after being handcuffed and placed in the back seat won’t spend any more time incarcerated in Indiana, based on Monday’s sentencing.
However, in the nine months that William F. Blankenship III, 23, was in Porter County Jail, he lost his life, he said.
“This is the biggest mistake I’ve ever made, and it cost me everything — my job, my home and now even my wife,” Blankenship said during his hearing.
Porter Superior Judge Roger Bradford sentenced Blankenship to five years total of time served and the rest on probation.
Because of good behavior in Porter County Jail, Blankenship will get about 18 months’ credit to this sentence, but he is being extradited to Illinois for charges there.
Bradford said he didn’t see what good further incarceration would do and noted that although Blankenship has a criminal history starting with felony-level adjudications as a juvenile, Blankenship has gone through the jail’s drug program and began the process for going on psychiatric drugs for his bi-polar disorder.
Defense attorney Peter Boyles said that process involves being removed from the other prisoners and put into a protective padded suit.
Blankenship said with the recent death of his father and loss of his health insurance necessary to pay for psychiatric medications, he slipped back into using heroin, which is what the Kouts officer was arresting him for on Jan. 10.
While the officer was going through Blankenship’s car and finding drugs, Blankenship got out of the back seat and took control of the squad.
While driving away, he asked dispatch where the cigarette lighter and keys for the handcuffs were.
Blankenship had pleaded to Class C felony escape and Class D felony auto theft Aug. 20, and the prosecution dropped two Class D felony charges, criminal mischief and fleeing law enforcement.