Man accused of driving motorcycle into BLM protesters last summer takes plea deal

Local News

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — The case of a man accused of running over peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters last May is no longer going to trial after taking a plea deal Friday, April 23.

22-year-old Marshall Blanchard agreed to plead guilty to two counts of failure to report a motor vehicle accident involving an injury and to a hate crime.

In exchange, the state agreed to drop the other charges and agreed to cap his sentencing recommendation to seven years and to have all sentences run concurrently.

Blanchard was originally scheduled to face a jury Monday, April 26, for allegedly driving his motorcycle into a peaceful group of protesters last May in downtown Bloomington.

Blanchard had 17 counts against him, including 15 felonies and two misdemeanors. He was facing two counts of failure to report an accident, two counts of aggravated battery using a deadly weapon, two counts of aggravated battery in a public place, eight counts of a hate crime, one count of aggravated battery in a motor vehicle, and two counts of battery causing bodily harm.

A 22-year-old woman and a 28-year-old male were injured as a result of that crash with injuries to the torso and legs.

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