Gary Blanton III ()

Gary Blanton III ()

Brain injury death of boy born in Port Angeles being investigated by Spokane County Sheriff’s Office

  • Peninsula Daily News and news sources
  • Monday, May 4, 2015 7:30pm
  • News

Peninsula Daily News and news sources

SPOKANE — The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a 5-year-old boy born in Port Angeles who was living with an aunt in Chatteroy after his father was murdered and his mother died of pneumonia.

Gary Blanton III died April 17 of a brain injury, The Spokesman-Review of Spokane reported.

His father, Gary L. Blanton Jr., 28, was shot and killed by Sequim resident Patrick Drum, 34, in June 2012.

His mother, Leslie Lynn Blanton, died at the age of 37 of pneumonia in July 2014.

The boy was in the custody of his aunt, who was not named in news reports, following the death of both of his parents, according to an affidavit for a search warrant, the newspaper said.

Blanton’s aunt has not been arrested or charged with a crime.

Blanton was an enrolled member of the Hoh tribe with Quileute ancestry, according to his obituary in The Spokesman-Review.

The Hoh tribe awarded his aunt temporary custody.

Doctors at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane determined that Blanton suffered a fractured skull, fatal brain injuries and large bruises on his elbow, leg, hip and arm, court records say.

His aunt told investigators that the boy fell from a bed or crib onto a carpeted concrete floor.

A medical examiner later determined that Blanton’s injuries were “most likely not consistent with a fall from a crib or bed.”

Drum is serving life in prison without possibility of parole after he pleaded guilty to the aggravated first-degree murders of Blanton Jr., and Jerry W. Ray, 56, of Port Angeles.

Drum told authorities he committed the murders as part of a vendetta against sex offenders. He had planned to target a third convicted sex offender in Quilcene when he was arrested.

Drum said at his sentencing September 2012 that “it was never my intent to hurt the families involved.

“That’s like collateral damage,” he said.

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