JUSTICE — A Gilbert man was recently arrested by the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department after he allegedly held his girlfriend captive in her apartment for 24 hours and kept her from calling 911.

Ezra Blankenship, 51, was arrested March 18 and charged with felony counts of kidnapping and strangulation as well as misdemeanor counts of domestic battery, domestic assault and disrupting emergency communications stemming from a Jan. 24 incident, according to a criminal complaint filed in Mingo County Magistrate Court.

The complaint says that Blankenship blocked the door with his body and held his girlfriend against her will inside of her apartment. He allegedly choked the victim until she was unconscious, hit her in the face causing a deep gash and said that he “would kill her if she left him,” according to the report.

The victim told police that she tried several times to escape but was unable to do so. She said that Blankenship allegedly cut the power to the phones, preventing her from calling 911.

The complaint says the next day, neighbors finally heard the screams of the victim and called 911. Blankenship fled the scene before police arrived, according to the report, and the victim was transported to the hospital for medical treatment for her multiple injuries.

Warrants were served March 18 on Blankenship, and he was also charged with obstructing an officer after he refused commands from the officer attempting to serve the warrants.

Blankenship was arraigned in Mingo Magistrate Court by Donald Sansom and was sent to the Southwestern Regional Jail in lieu of a $65,000 bail.

Here are other arrests recently filed in Mingo Magistrate Court:

  • Justin Lee Coleman, 34, of Williamson was arrested March 19 and charged with burglary and conspiracy by the Williamson Police Department.
  • Crystal Jean Cassell, 36, of Williamson was arrested March 19 and charged with conspiracy to conflict injury to a person or property by the WPD.
  • Jimmy Darrell Rushing, 57, of Williamson was arrested March 18 and charged with DUI and no insurance by the West Virginia State Police.
  • William Ercle “Buddy” Dotson, 50, of Matewan was arrested March 20 and charged with escape from custody by the Mingo County Probation Office and MCSD.
  • Charles Mills, 51, of Kermit was arrested March 17 and charged with grand larceny and conspiracy by the MCSD.
  • Jack E. Crawford, 42, of Mallory was arrested March 16 and charged with driving revoked DUI and driving suspended by the WVSP.
  • William Russell Slone, 52, of Sidney, Kentucky, was arrested March 15 and charged with simple possession, methamphetamine and possession of altered Sudafed by the WPD and and MCSD.
  • Christopher Compton, 21, of Kimper, Kentucky, was arrested March 15 and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, DUI, DUI while suspended and driving down a one way street by the MCSD.
  • Timothy Stacy, 48, of Kermit was arrested March 13 and charged with violating a protective order by the MCSD.
  • David Tidwell, 36, of Williamson was arrested March 14 and charged with being a person prohibited from possessing a firearm by the MCSD.
  • Anthony Rauch, 42, of Lenore was arrested March 15 and charged with possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, two counts of battery on a government official, obstructing an officer, DUI, driving suspended, no insurance and no operator’s by the WPD.
  • Maria Laney, 59, of Matewan was arrested March 12 and charged with assault and battery on a police officer and indecent exposure by the WVSP.

Disclaimer: All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. A criminal complaint is a document that alleges a criminal charge.

Jarrid McCormick is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at jmccormick@HDMediaLLC.com.