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Felon Gets Early Release, Weeks Later He Cuts Out Woman’s Heart, Kills Uncle And Child

Chickasha, OK – A convicted felon who was released from prison early as part of a mass commutation allegedly cut out a woman’s heart, cooked it, and tried to feed it to his family members before killing his elderly uncle and his four-year-old cousin.

Lawrence Paul Anderson, 42, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2017 for violating his probation in connection with a drug conviction, according to the Associated Press.

He served just over three years before Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt commuted his sentence to nine years in prison in 2020.

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 3-1 to release him, and Anderson was turned loose in January, the Associated Press reported.

Approximately three weeks later, on Feb. 9, he allegedly forced his way into the home of his 41-year-old neighbor, Andrea Blankenship, according to The New York Times.

Investigators said Blankenship’s body had multiple stab wounds, as well as signs of blunt force trauma.

Anderson allegedly cut out her heart, then took it across the street to his aunt and uncle’s home, according to police.

Investigators said Anderson cooked Blankenship’s heart with some potatoes and tried to get his aunt and uncle to eat it, telling them it would “release the demons,” The New York Times reported.

He ultimately attacked his family members, stabbing his aunt in her eyes and murdering his 67-year-old uncle, Leon Pye, according to police.

Anderson also allegedly murdered the couple’s four-year-old granddaughter, Kaeos Yates, who had signs of blunt force trauma and had been stabbed, The New York Times reported.

Anderson’s aunt, who is expected to survive her wounds, was able to call 911 during the attack.

Police arrested Anderson at the scene and transported him to the hospital, where he underwent surgery to repair a severe laceration to his hand, The New York Times reported.

It wasn’t until two days later that Anderson allegedly told police he’d killed Blankenship.

He is now facing three counts of first-degree murder, maiming, and assault and battery with a deadly weapon, The Oklahoman reported.

“Oh God,” Anderson sobbed during his initial appearance on Feb. 23. “I don’t want no bail, your honor. I don’t want no bail.”

Anderson’s attorney, Al Hoch, said he plans to ask the court to have his client evaluated to determine whether or not he is mentally competent to stand trial, The Oklahoman reported.

When Anderson was sentenced in 2017, he told the judge he was prescribed medication for bipolar disorder.

Anderson has also been incarcerated on multiple other occasions, according to The New York Times.

Although Anderson had listed his aunt and uncle’s address as his own, their attorney, Robert Wagner, said he was actually living at a hotel, The Oklahoman reported.

The couple had never planned to have the convicted felon live with them when he was released.

“They were surprised to see him just show up, that he was out,” Wagner said, according to The Oklahoman. “They had no prior knowledge that he was being released and they had never consented to him listing their address as his home.”

Grady County District Attorney Jason Hicks said that Anderson’s commutation was just one of 600 the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board considered in January of 2020.

“It’s too many,” Hicks said. “You don’t have the time to look through those things and give any meaningful consideration to them.”

He also argued that even considering Anderson for release should have never been an option.

“I really think an offender such as this should not have been able to apply for commutation when somebody has the record that he has,” Hicks told The New York Times. “That application should have never been heard.”

“We have seen ‘criminal justice reform’ in the state of Oklahoma now for several years,” he said, according to The Oklahoman. “We have put politics and releasing inmates in front of public safety. The goal that we have set in Oklahoma is to decrease the prison population with no thought for public safety…When is enough enough?”

He said the mass releases are “not fair to the people of the state of Oklahoma. And we have to come to terms with that.”

“Go tell these families — the Blankenship and the Pye families — that Anderson was just a low-level nonviolent offender. Look at what…he’s accused of doing,” the prosecutor ranted. “It is time that we do better. If we have the highest incarceration rate in the world, OK. We can look at our citizens and be honest with them and tell them that you’re safe. I can’t tell the people in my district today that they’re safe.”

Hicks said he is considering seeking the death penalty against Anderson, The New York Times reported.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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