BURKE COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - The family and friends of a teenage murder victim had strong words in court on Monday for the man charged with her death.Phillip Blankenship issued a guilty plea to the crime, yet, he still claims he is innocent.
Blankenship has never admitted to killing Olivia Seals. However, he wasthe last one seen with Seals and her body was found next to his house. Her blood was in his room and some was on his boots.
Blankenship pled guilty on Monday. When asked by the judge if he was in fact guilty, Blankenship said he wasn't.
That answer did not surprise Seals' family. In fact, her father called Blankenship a coward.
Olivia's sisters and friends said life without parole is justice and they wished the defendant a long life in prison.
Defense attorneys said the evidence in the case was overwhelming and that's why Blankenship entered a guilty plea.
They claim Phillip was on crack cocaine at the time of the murder and he doesn't remember what happened.
Blankenship seemed to remember it all as he addressed the victim's family saying he didn't kill Olivia.
"I left her in the presence of somebody else that took her life," he said. "I do know who took her life, but I can't say at this time, I can't release no names."
Authorities say they looked into that possibility a long time ago and there is no evidence to support Blankenship's claim.
The family said Blankenship is a monster and deserves whatever prison brings him.Despite the plea, the Seals family doesn't feel much better about things.
The only comfort they have is that Blankenship will be behind bars for the rest of his life.