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212 years
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Joel Ernest Blanton must have known what was coming when he broke out of Van Buren County Jail on Monday with the help of his mother. On Wednesday, Blanton was sentenced to 212 years in prison by Circuit Court Judge Bart Stanley for six counts of child rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. “It’s the longest sentence I can ever recall,” said assistant district attorney Tom Miner, who has served as a local prosecutor for nearly three decades.