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Dec 28,2007
Teen sniper sentenced to 42 years in prison
by UPI

BROWNSTOWN, Ind. -- A teenager who confessed to firing a high-powered rifle at a pickup truck in Jackson County, Ind., killing one man, has been sentenced to 42 years in prison.

Jackson Circuit Court Judge William Vance said in sentencing Zachariah Blanton, 18, that the teenager committed "an act of terrorism" when he killed Jerry Ross, 40, and wounded a second man in another vehicle on July 23, 2006, the Louisville (Ky.) Courier-News reported Friday.

"What you did most definitely had an impact on the motoring public in Jackson County and in fact across the nation," Vance told Blanton.

Blanton pleaded guilty to charges of voluntary manslaughter and criminal recklessness. He faced a jail sentence of up to 50 years on the charges.

Defense attorneys Alan Wilson and Bruce Mactavish attempted to paint Blanton as a troubled youth who was abandoned by his mother, bereaved by his uncle's suicide and sexually molested by an older child. They said he was in therapy for most of the time period between 1996 and 2005.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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