Reports: Riggs could face death penalty

The 21 year old man indicted for the murder of Chantay Blankinship could face the death penalty, according to a report from the Brownwood Bulletin. Ryan Riggs was indicted for Capital Murder on allegations that he knowingly and intentionally caused the death of Blankenship by striking her with a lawnmower blade, or another item, while in the course of committing kidnapping or sexual assault.

Riggs recently confessed to the crime after a DNA profile picture was released bearing his resemblance. Blankinship was killed in May 2016 near her Lake Brownwood home.

The Bulletin reports that District Judge Stephen Ellis expects the state to pursue the death penalty, so he appointed the Regional Public Defender in Lubbock to represent Riggs. The Regional Public Defender is an office funded through a collaboration of West Texas counties to minimize the financial impact a death penalty case can have on a county.