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Local judge in trouble again

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M. Keith Blankenship, 43, of Wytheville, is in trouble with the law for the second time in the past two months.

Blankenship is a Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court judge for the 27th Judicial District, which includes Grayson, Bland, Carroll, Floyd and Wythe counties.

Blankenship was arrested at his home on May 3 and charged with one count of misdemeanor hit-and-run following the alleged incident that occurred April 27 in Powhatan County, near Richmond.

According to a Virginia State Police news release, Blankenship was allegedly driving northbound in a 2006 Subaru Forester on Huguenot Springs Road in Powhatan County at about 5:15 p.m. on April 27 when he swerved off the right side of the rural road and struck a telephone line box.

The release states that Blankenship then drove into a yard beside the telephone-line box, causing “substantial damage.”

Before leaving the scene, state police say, Blankenship crossed over to the left side of the road, hit an embankment and uprooted a tree in another yard.

Several witnesses reportedly saw the accident. Blankenship was located that evening at a hotel in Chesterfield County where he was questioned by a state trooper.

Blankenship posted bond and was released after his latest arrest.

In an earlier incident, Blankenship was pulled over on Interstate 81 in Smyth County on March 1 and charged with driving under the influence and refusing a breath test. A hearing on those charges is scheduled for Tuesday in Smyth County General District Court.