A man from Oklahoma was given a life sentence after pleading guilty to killing three people, including a woman whose heart was cut out of her body. The killings happened just weeks after the man was released from prison as part of a mass commutation effort.
Lawrence Paul Anderson, who is 44 years old, pleaded guilty in Grady County District Court on Wednesday to three counts of murder, one count of maiming, and one count each of assault and battery and assault.
As part of a plea deal, Jason Hicks, the prosecutor, agreed not to seek the death penalty for Anderson. This was done at the request of the families of the people he killed.
At a news conference after the sentencing, Hicks said, “They don’t want a trial.” “They don’t want to sit in court and hear all the horrible details of what happened to their loved ones.”
The Suspect Took The Heart of the Victim
Investigators said that Anderson broke into the home of 41-year-old Andrea Lynn Blankenship, stabbed her to death, cut out her heart, and took it to the home of his uncle Leon Pye and aunt Delsie Pye.
Anderson then cooked the heart and tried to serve it to the Pyes. He then stabbed Leon Pye, 67, and his 4-year-old granddaughter, Kaeos Yates, to death. He also hurt his aunt, Delsie Pye.
During the sentencing, Delsie Pye, who is 66 years old, said it broke her heart that a family member would do something like this.
Before running out of the courtroom, Tasha Yates, the mother of Kaeos Yates, cursed at Anderson.
“Who kills an infant? Who does that?” Yates yelled.
The tweet below confirms the news:
Oklahoman pleads guilty to killing 3, cutting heart from one https://t.co/IfwIBypbaN pic.twitter.com/XpW4HTkN3X
— CTV News (@CTVNews) March 16, 2023
Anderson got out of prison less than a month before the attacks in February 2021. His 20-year prison sentence for drug crimes was reduced by Gov. Kevin Stitt after a recommendation from the state Pardon and Parole Board.
Later, a grand jury investigation found that Anderson was wrongly put on the commutation docket in August 2019 after the board denied his commutation request in July 2019. Board rules say that he has to wait three years before he can try again.
After the second request, the board decided to recommend commutation, which Stitt agreed to.
Delsie Pye and the victims’ families have sued Stitt, the Pardon and Parole Board, and others for breaking federal civil rights laws by letting Anderson go free.
The lawsuit is still going on, and all of the defendants have filed motions to end the case.
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