Hailey Man Claims Self Defense in Murder Investigation
HAILEY, Idaho (AP) — Court records say a central Idaho man accused of killing a neighbor and hiding the body told officers he acted in self-defense. Forty-nine-year-old Keith Eric Blankenship of Hailey was charged with second-degree murder and concealing evidence Thursday in the slaying of 47-year-old Steve Michael Romanchuk. A Blaine County sheriff’s report says Romanchuk’s wife reported her husband missing in January.
She said he had lent money to a neighbor and later confronted him over the loan. The report says after initially denying knowing Romanchuk or receiving money from him, Blankenship told a deputy on Wednesday he killed a man in self-defense and buried him in his backyard. The Times-News reports detectives taking video outside of Blankenship’s home Thursday came upon a pile of dead leaves with partially exposed human remains.