Donna Blanton, Taylor Blanton: Virginia State Trooper’s Ruther Glen Shooting Death Retraced On Oxygen’s ‘Snapped’

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Donna Blanton’s murder case is slated to air on Snapped next week on the Oxygen Channel. Donna Blanton killed her husband, Taylor Blanton, a state trooper for the Virginia State Police thirteen years ago. After two trials, which were overturned, Donna Blanton was found guilty and sentenced a third time to 28 years to life in prison, according to Life Death Prizes. Oxygen viewers are familiar with the show’s format, which will include real photos of the crime scene and location, along with interviews with law enforcement investigators and friends or family members of the victim. **Note: There appears to be a discrepancy in what is actually airing tonight and the online schedule. Check your local listings for exact programming.

Donna Blanton called 911 about a shooting that had occurred at her home in Ruther Glen, Virginia, in October 2003. The screaming wife told 911 operators that an intruder entered her home and shot her husband in bed before she was able to get the gun and fire shots at the killer. By the time police descended on the scene, they had found a white male in his bed with several gunshot wounds to the back.

When asked for an explanation, Donna Blanton explained again that she was in her bathroom preparing to go to bed with her husband, when an intruder fired shots, killing her husband. Then, she picked up the gun and fired shots at the unknown intruder. Caselaw court records describe what Donna told the officer in detail.

“According to the story Donna, she arose before Taylor about 6:00 a.m. on the morning of October 16, 2003, and she was in the bathroom when she heard gunshots. She exited the bathroom and called 911. She reported that an intruder had broken into her home and shot her husband. When police arrived, Donna stated that she was in the bathroom brushing her teeth* when she heard gunshots and that she exited the bathroom and saw the intruder running out of the house. She said that the intruder dropped his gun on the bedroom floor and that she picked it up and fired it at the intruder as he was running down the driveway. She then placed the gun on the center island in the kitchen.”

From the beginning, Donna Blanton’s story made no sense, especially since the gun used in the attack belonged to the victim. Friends and family members said that Donna and Taylor Blanton had been legally married for only six months, though that had lived together for several years prior. By all accounts, The Blantons were a happy couple who were often seen joking around with each other.

But as police probed deeper into the couple’s relationship, some problems became apparent. Records show that Donna Blanton was having financial difficulties, stemming from a gambling addiction that she had tried to keep hidden from her husband.

Often going to Atlantic City, New Jersey, Donna Blanton often misused monies taken from the family account to gamble at the casino. The irritations in the marriage festered once Taylor Blanton found out that his wife had written a bad check. Soon Donna’s behavior was going to impact his job as a state trooper.

Already ruling out any possibility that a disgruntled inmate could have gone to the home to kill Taylor Blanton, it wasn’t long before police believed that Donna Blanton was the one who pulled the trigger. Donna Blanton denied killing her husband, stating that she didn’t know how to shoot a gun, a statement that was proven to be a lie after her first husband came forward to say that she had owned a gun in the past. The former Head Start and community action worker was arrested and charged with the murder of her husband.

At trial, prosecutors pointed to the fact that there was no sign of forced entry or signs of an intruder–and there were obvious holes in the the state’s case. To fill in the gaps of the story, tune into Snapped Next Sunday, October 16, at 9/8 p.m. Central on Oxygen.

[Featured Image by Steve Helber/AP Images]