Monday, September 12, 2022

Four Years for Fourth DUI Offense

Madison County Circuit Judge Steve Ratcliff sentenced former DHS Communications Director to serve 4 years in prison for a fourth-offense DUI on September 6.  


Blanton was arrested on July 10, 2021 for a DUI.  He was convicted of DUIs in June 2021, May 2014, and July 2004. However, each previous conviction was classified as a first-offense DUI.  He previously served as the Public Relations Director at Ole Miss but resigned the position in November 2015. He is 58 years old.

 Clad in orange, a somber Blanton walked into the courtroom accompanied by a deputy as a dozen friends and family watched. Several addressed the Court in support of Blanton. 

Attorney Shawn Guy asked for leniency. He said Blanton has transformed since he met him over a year ago.  He asked Judge Ratliff to place him under the supervision of drug court and "significant house arrest."  Bob Sallenger (sp?) said he knew the defendant for a long time.  He said he was Blanton's sponsor in Alcoholics Anonymous.  He and Guy said Blanton attended AA meetings religiously for over a year and was taking his sobriety very seriously.  They said he was not the same person he was when he got his fourth DUI.  

Blanton spoke for himself in a steady voice.  He served 25 years as an officer in the military.  He deployed six times to Iraq and Afghanistan.  He endured four IED strikes that resulted in casualties.  He returned to Afghanistan as an adviser after his service was completed. 

He said "I have always tried to live an honorable life" but "despite my efforts to live an honorable life, alcohol destroyed it all." Blanton said his drinking began in 2012 and resulted in "four indiscretions that brought me here. Despite spending 25 years fighting for your rights, I can never vote or bear arms."  He said the arrest made him get help and he has been sober for 450 days.  Breaking down at the end, he said drug court would allow him to build an honorable life.  

Assistant District Attorney Ashley Allen did not address the Court. 


Judge Ratcliff solemnly heard it all but said "there has got to be some type of accountability".  Reading from the police report, Judge Ratliff said Blanton ignored police, swerved in and out of traffic, and refused to take a breath test.  A blood test reported his BAC at 0.216.  His previous convictions were classified as first-offense DUI's even though the third one should have been a felony.  Judge Ratcliff pointed out that Blanton was convicted for his third first-offense DUI two weeks before his fourth arrest. 

 Blanton faced a prison sentence of two to ten years and a fine of $3,000 to $10,000.  The District Attorney made no sentencing recommendation. 

The Court sentenced Blanton to serve 10 years in prison but suspended six years of the sentence.  Judge Ratliff fined him $3,000 and ordered him to pay $552 in court costs.  

Kingfish note: A fourth-offense DUI is considered to be a "25% crime" so Blanton will probably serve only a year in prison. 



Anonymous said...

I hope those drinks that led to his 4th DUI offense were good ones.

Anonymous said...

He can be honorable in jail. He should have gotten 10 years. Think of all the times he endangered lives. I like to drink beer myself. 51 years old and have never gotten a DUI. No excuse for it.

Anonymous said...

Those were some very expensive cocktails. Fortunately he didn't kill someone, as he likely was intoxicated almost every time he got behind the wheel.

Maybe he can buy "pruno" in prison.

Anonymous said...

Thankfully no ne was hurt and hopefully this man gets his life back on track.

Anonymous said...

Drink all you want people, just stay home.
Is that too much to ask?

Its is ridiculously selfish to put others at risk for your own selfishness.

Anonymous said...

Man’s inhumanity to man. Blessed that he has a sponsor & can continue with recovery via AA meetings & personal reflection for the balance of his life!

Anonymous said...

😂 he should’ve stayed home and smoked some legal THC flower from the CBD store, instead! 🤣

Duffer said...

I lost my mother to a drunk driver. She stayed in/out of intensive care for eight months. My siblings and I were at her bedside 15 hours of every day. We suffered and we watched her suffer. The sentence he got was too light!

burton39110 said...

Addiction is a terrible thing and this is one of the consequences. I hope he has gotten help for his and everyone else’s sake. He can still be an honorable man.

Anonymous said...

Nothing good comes from alcohol.

This man has seen death and destruction. Maybe he has some demons he just cannot control.

I think Judge Ratliff made a good call in this one. I hope the defendant got his ass chewed on for ignoring the police. That's unforgiveable.

Anonymous said...

@ "I like to drink beer myself. 51 years old and have never gotten a DUI. No excuse for it."

The real question is not whether someone got a DUI, but whether he drove under the influence.

Anonymous said...

"I can never vote or bear arms." I couldn't care less if you can never vote or bear arms....I just hope you can't ever drive again.

Anonymous said...

When has resisting arrest or trying to elude police ever worked out? If he'd just pulled over, the judge may have been more lenient and gone for the house arrest option.

Drinking clearly wasn't the friend he thought it was, and he got enough breaks to think about it. Good thing he didn't hurt anyone.

Thank you for your service and for getting help.

Unknown said...

12:49 Exactly. Probably everyone who drinks has certainly impaired, if not over the illegal limit.

Krusatyr said...

Park the car, call a cab or Uber. Cost $25 to $50 and you still had a good time.

In my early twenties salad days I went to bars twice a week for two hours a night, sipped two drinks and left, once carrying a raving drunk friend over my shoulder, kicking air and cursing, because I would not let him drink more or drive his car.

Anonymous said...

Driving under the influence as provided in Sections 63-11-30(5) and 63-11-30(12) (d);

Felony DUI's are considered to be violent crimes so there fore M. Blanton will serve 85% of his sentence.

He will do a little over 3 years

Anonymous said...

11:18: Yet

Anonymous said...

Are you sure you didn’t accidentally post a picture of Otis Campbell of Andy Griffith fame?

Anonymous said...

"I can never vote or bear arms."

Should of thought about that before you got all your DUI's. What a dumbass.

Anonymous said...

Felony DUI is not one of the 22 disenfranchising crimes in Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

PSA: there is this new thing call Uber

Anonymous said...

1:30, so eloquently stated. Kudos.

Anonymous said...

10:05 - Surely you jest and are not giving Kudos to this...

"Probably everyone who drinks has certainly impaired, if not over the illegal limit."

Everyone has impaired?

There IS no illegal limit. It's called a legal limit.

Please rethink your nomination and awards program.

That'sMisterDeplorableToYou said...

Not like the good old days when the cop would just follow you home, take your keys, and you could pick them up at the station the next day.

Anonymous said...

"A fourth-offense DUI is considered to be a "25% crime" so Blanton will probably serve only a year in prison." By then he'll just be short of being truly dried out. Maybe he can stay longer when he gets his 5th DUI, which he will do.

Anonymous said...

2:06 PM -- stick to being a non-lawyer and you will not look stupid making statements related to google searches

Anonymous said...

Living up to the Old Miss expectations??

Anonymous said...

I see the crime as the system, treating DUI's as 1st time offenses, did he really lose a driver's license for any? Remaining employed while a drunk is another issue. The little bottles they sell in the Louisiana inconvenience stores are not for those who drink just a little.

Stocking Stuffers said...

"The little bottles they sell in the Louisiana inconvenience stores are not for those who drink just a little."

You're right. They're for everybody who attends weekend football games and mixes a drink with Coke, on the road. Years ago we only saw them on airplanes.

Why do you think they're on display at the checkout counter at all the liquor stores? "Ah, and lemme have eight of those little Jacks".

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel


Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS