Jury Trial Begins for Hailey Murder Case
Hailey, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) - Jury selection for the Keith Blankenship murder trial began at the Fifth Judicial District Court in Blaine County.
Blankenship is charged with murder in the second degree and evidence-destruction, alteration or concealment. He is accused of murdering Steve Romanchuck in mid-January 2014 and then concealing the body in his backyard, covering it with leaves and debris.
A probable cause affidavit reveals Romanchuk's wife told investigators that her husband lent $100 to a neighbor named Keith and "confronted Keith numerous times at Keith's home about the money."
Blankenship was questioned by authorities early on and even let deputies search his garage. Several months later, in May 2014, Blankenship confessed to the murder, saying it was self-defense. After a search warrant was issued, the body was discovered in Blankenship’s yard.
An autopsy revealed the body believed to be that of 47 year old Romanchuk was shot several times. The cause of death was a gunshot wound to the chest. The murder trial is set to take place in Blaine County in May.