2 men sentenced after pleading guilty to charges in deadly drug deal in Fairmont

Crime

Kenneth Royal Rager (l) and Kenneth James Rager (r)

FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Two men have pleaded guilty in connection to an incident in November 2018 that left one man dead.

Offender Picture
Kenneth Royal Rager

According to Marion County Prosecutor Jeff Freeman, in November 2018, Kenneth Royal Rager and Kenneth James Rager attempted to purchase drugs from Kevin Blanks in a parking lot near Ryder Pharmacy.

The two bought 2 ounces of what they thought was methamphetamine — but was later confirmed by authorities to be a counterfeit substance — and after exiting both Ragers’ car to smoke, Blanks fled, according to Freeman.

At that point, Kenneth Royal Rager chased Blanks down until Blanks entered his own vehicle — being driven by Dominic Jones — at which point Kenneth Royal Rager fired eight shots at the vehicle, striking Blanks in the chest and killing him, Freeman said.

Offender Picture
Kenneth James Rager

When Jones fled, Kenneth Royal Rager returned to his car, and he and Kenneth James Rager followed her, eventually catching up when she hit a dead end, according to Freeman. Both Ragers then pulled Jones out of the car, beat her and robbed her, Freeman said.

Kenneth Royal Rager has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. A judge sentenced him to life in prison with mercy. Kenneth James Rager pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery. He received a definite sentence of 32 years.

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