Idaho man sentenced to prison in death of neighbor
KETCHUM, Idaho. — A central Idaho man has been sentenced to prison in the death of a neighbor whose body was discovered in his backyard.
The Idaho Mountain Express reports that 51-year-old Keith Blankenship has been sentenced to at least seven years in prison after pleading guilty to felony failure to notify authorities of a death with intent to prevent discovery of the manner of death.
Blankenship told Blaine County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Steve Harkins in May 2014 that he shot and killed 47-year-old Steve Romanchuk in self-defense that January. He originally went to trial on charges of murder and destruction of evidence, but it ended in a mistrial.
The state has agreed to drop the other charges as part of the plea agreement.
Prosecutors say there wasn’t enough evidence to refute Blankenship’s self-defense claim.