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Willie Blanton sentenced to prison

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PAINTSVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - They spent months wondering, and now they have an answer.

Larry and Sandara Blanton disappeared last September and nearly six months later their bodies were found buried on their farm.

Their son Willie admitted that he killed them and Monday some of the Blantons' family members stood up in court to speak their minds as Willie was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

"I've wondered if there's something wrong with me because I don't hate or despise you," Sandara Blanton's sister Lois Fraley addressed Willie.

"How does it feel to know you gained nothing for what you did?" asked Sandara Blanton's mother, Nora Blair.

One by one they stood, given their chance to tell Willie Blanton how they feel now that he admitted to murdering his parents Larry and Sandara Blanton.

"According to the recent interviews I've heard you developed a conscience and you made this plea agreement for the family. I don't buy it," said Fraley.

Blanton pleaded guilty Friday to both murder charges, and Monday a judge sentenced him to spend the rest of his life in prison without the chance for parole.

One life sentence for each life taken.

"I do believe that this was something he knew was coming one way or the other. I couldn't get into the mind of Willie Blanton nor would I want to," said Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Anthony Skeans.

Prosecutors say without the plea agreement this case might not have gone to trial until early next year, and they say they are satisfied with the agreement and the sentence.

"I hope for you the hurt as you leave your son without a father and grandfather, but I don't guess that's possible for a heartless person like you," said Larry Blanton's daughter Amanda Howard.

It is a crime that tore apart a family who says they can only hope to move forward knowing the man responsible will stay behind bars.

"This family was destroyed. An entire family was removed from the face of the earth," said Skeans.

Blanton also pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a forged instrument, tampering with physical evidence and being a persistent felony offender.

He was sentenced to 10 years for each of those crimes to run concurrently with his life sentences.

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A judge has sentenced Willie Blanton to life without parole for the murder of his parents.

Blanton of Johnson County accepted a plea deal Friday, during what was supposed to be a pretrial hearing in Lawrence County.

On February 22, investigators found the bodies of Larry Blanton, 60, and Sandra Blanton, 53, buried near a barn on their farm in Oil Springs in Johnson County.

The couple disappeared in early September 2012. Investigators say they died as a result of blunt force trauma and put their time of death around the time they went missing.

In March, Willie was indicted in Johnson County on two counts of murder, tampering with evidence and being a persistent felony offender.

During Friday's hearing, Blanton pleaded guilty to all counts of the indictment.

He was sentenced Monday morning to two life sentences without parole.
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Willie Blanton of Johnson County accepted a plea deal Friday for the murder of his parents.

Willie Blanton, 30, of Oil Springs entered the plea during what was supposed to be a pretrial hearing in Lawrence County.

On February 22, investigators found the bodies of Larry Blanton, 60, and Sandra Blanton, 53, buried near a barn on their farm in Oil Springs in Johnson County.

The couple disappeared in early September 2012. Investigators say they died as a result of blunt force trauma and put their time of death around the time they went missing.

The story had many in the tiny Oil Springs community talking for months and now many are saying they are shocked at Willie Blanton's plea.

Folks living in the Oil Springs area of Johnson County say it is a quiet, close knit community and they are now thankful they can get back to feeling safe after what they say has been a nightmare for the area is coming to a close.

Neighbors of Larry and Sandra Blanton say the news of their disappearance and then murders sent shock waves through the small community.

Larry Baldwin says, "That's really the worst thing that has happened on this creek, I mean I've lived here 46 years and it is awful. We've never had anything like that."

Payne Rice was a friend of Larry Blanton's and says, "When I heard that Larry and Sandy were missing, I was shocked."

When the truth came out about what really happened to Larry and Sandra at the hands of their son, Willie, neighbors say they can't believe that happened so close to home.

Rice says, "I just can't imagine, anyone that would want to kill their mother and father."

Now hat Willie will be held responsible they say they can begin to move on. Rice explains, "I believe the community is going to be more at rest and at ease knowing that Willie will be at least in the pin and that is where he deserves to be."

They say they will never forget their neighbors and more importantly someone they called a friend. "He would do just about anything I needed. Of course I miss him awful bad," says Rice.


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