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April 4, 2014

Charges for stabbing suspect could be upgraded

Clarksville police think attempted murder charge may be appropriate

CLARKSVILLE — A Palmyra man accused of stabbing a man behind Kroger in Clarksville faces the initial charge of B felony aggravated battery, but that might change soon.

The Clarksville Police Department will be filing a supplement to the initial report regarding an incident that led to the arrest of Cody Lee Blankenship, 23, with the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office, according to Clarksville Police Chief Mark Palmer.

“We’re still trying to get some of the speculation out of the way to try to get to the truth,” Palmer said. “But at this time, due to the actions of the suspect, we’re going to put that in the prosecutor’s hands and let him determine if that’s going to be upgraded to attempted murder or not.”

Blankenship is accused of stabbing Jonathan Keller, 21. Keller is dating Blankenship’s ex-girlfriend, and Blankenship had been harassing Keller, according to a police arrest report. Blankenship reportedly invited Keller to meet him behind Kroger in Clarksville on Wednesday evening to apologize and discuss the situation.

But now police believe Blankenship baited Keller for the purpose of attacking him, Palmer said.

“From some of the information we’re getting from other people, it sounds more like [Keller] may have been lured to that spot for the intent of a fight or a showdown of some type,” Palmer said.

According to the arrest report, as Keller was preparing to drive away on his motorcycle, Blankenship attacked Keller and hit him in the back of the head. The two struggled, and Keller sustained stab wounds to his head, cheek and forearm.

Police initially thought that the wounds to Keller’s head were lacerations caused by a slashing motion, but now believe that the wounds were caused by a “stabbing motion,” Palmer said.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said that his office had not yet reviewed Blankenship’s case, but said the charges the state pursues against Blankenship would be upgraded if the need to do so is determined.

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