A 1:30 p.m. Thursday, May 26, pre-trial conference is scheduled in Newton County Circuit Court for alleged internet pervert Gary Reed Blankenship. Blankenship has told his former co-workers at O'Sullivan Industries in Lamar, in a series of e-mail messages, that he expects to have nine of the 10 charges against him dismissed.
Blankenship, 55, was arrested after falling for one of Diamond police officer Jim Murray's internet sting operations. According to the police, Blankenship arranged a meeting with someone he thought was a 13-year-old girl named Cindy, who was actually Murray.
Blankenship is represented by prominent Springfield lawyer Dee Wampler.