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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

Glade Hill woman pleads guilty to meth charges
Drug charges against ex-husband dismissed
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Mary Ellen Blankenship

Monday, February 10, 2014

By KEN BRADLEY - Staff Writer

A Glade Hill woman faces up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to two methamphetamine charges.

Mary Ellen Blankenship, 49, pleaded guilty last Thursday in Franklin County Circuit Court to possession of methamphetamine and possession of ingredients used to make methamphetamine.

Two additional meth charges -- manufacturing and possession of ingredients -- were dismissed through a plea agreement.

Four charges against Blankenship's ex-husband, Michael Dennis Blankenship, 54, were dismissed after investigators determined the meth and ingredients found at his residence belonged to his ex-wife, according to prosecutor Cooper Brown.

The charges stemmed from altercations between the couple at the man's residence in April and May.

Mary Ellen Blankenship was arrested in April after she allegedly fired a handgun at her ex-husband at his residence beside the old Kwick Kitchen on Route 40 East. She was charged with discharging a firearm inside an occupied residence and brandishing a firearm.

That arrest on April 17 led to the first search of the residence, during which investigators found evidence of a suspected meth lab on the property, according to Lt. Justin Sigmon.

Then in May, Mary Blankenship and Michael Blankenship were both charged with brandishing a firearm after an altercation at the same residence. They were both also charged with assaulting a family member, according to Major Harry Clingenpeel with the sheriff's office.

Deputies responded to the residence on Old Franklin Turnpike for a fight in progress, Clingenpeel said. When they arrived, the deputies found the couple outside and a shotgun laying in the yard.

Both were arrested and another search warrant was obtained for the residence. During that search, investigators discovered ingredients commonly used in the manufacture of methamphetamine inside the house.

A sentencing hearing for Mary Blankenship is set for April 3 at 3 p.m. in circuit court.

No decision has been made about the prosecution of the prior firearms and assault charges, according to Franklin County Commonwealth's Attorney Tim Allen.

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