The 23-year-old man who allegedly stole a police squad car and crashed it into a ditch in LaPorte County pleaded guilty to the allegations against him.
William Blankenship of Knox pleaded guilty in Porter Superior Court I on Monday to charges of Escape as a Class C felony and Auto Theft as a Class D felony. The plea agreement filed in the case requests a maximum six-year prison sentence and restitution for the police car, which was found submerged in a LaPorte County ditch.
Blankenship stole a Kouts police car on Jan. 10 after a Kouts police officer placed him in the back seat of the car and he hopped into the front seat and drove the car away while the officer was searching his car for more evidence. In a conversation with police, he reportedly stated that whatever the officer found in the car wasn’t his. When police asked what the substance was, he said he didn’t know what the officer found, but insisted it wasn’t his. He also told police that he’d rather be dead than go to jail.
Police found the car in a ditch in LaPorte County the next morning. Blankenship surrendered to police two days after the incident at a home in Knox. He is incarcerated in the Porter County Jail.
His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Oct. 1.