GRADY COUNTY, Okla. – A man in Oklahoma who received an early release from incarceration as part of a mass commutation effort has been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to killing three people, including a woman whose heart was cut from her body. The grisly triple homicide occurred weeks after Lawrence Paul Anderson received his early freedom from prison.
Anderson, 44, pleaded guilty last Wednesday in Grady County District Court to three counts of murder and single counts of maiming and assault and battery. He was subsequently sentenced to life without parole as part of a plea deal in which the prosecutor dropped plans to seek the death penalty at the request of the victims’ families, Fox News Digital reported.
“They don’t want a trial,” prosecutor Jason Hicks said at a news conference once the sentencing was handed down. “They don’t want to sit in a courtroom and listen to all the gory details of what happened to their loved ones.”
Anderson broke into the home of a neighbor, Andrea Lynn Blankenship, 41, fatally stabbed her and cut out her heart, taking it to the home of his uncle and aunt, Leon Pye and Delsie Pye, according to investigators with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
“He took the heart back to 214 West Minnesota, Chickasha,” a state agent wrote in a search warrant, Law Officer reported following Anderson’s arrest in 2021. “He cooked the heart with potatoes to feed to his family to release the demons.”
Anderson then fatally stabbed Leon Pye, 67, and his 4-year-old granddaughter, Kaeos Yates, and wounded 66-year-old Delsie Pye, according to authorities.
The Pye’s allowed Anderson to live in their home after his early prison release from prison in January 2021.
Authorities actually did not discover Blankenship’s body until two days after Anderson murdered his relatives when he confessed at a hospital in Oklahoma City where he was being treated.
During sentencing, Delsie Pye said she is heartbroken that a family member would commit such horrific crimes.
Tasha Yates, the mother of Kaeos Yates, cursed Anderson before leaving the courtroom.
“Who kills a baby … who does that?” Yates hollered.
Anderson has a long criminal record that includes drug convictions and domestic violence.
The case sparked outrage because the repeat felon had been released early from prison in January 2021, less than a month before the murderous attacks. He had been sentenced in 2017 to serve 20 years behind bars but got out after Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) commuted his time.
The governor commuted the sentence to nine years at the recommendation of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board. Hence, when it was all said and done, Anderson served a little more than three years, according to The Oklahoman.
“This has to be addressed by the Legislature, sooner rather than later, because more people are going to get killed,” Hicks said following Anderson’s arrest in 2021.
A grand jury investigation later found Anderson was incorrectly placed on the commutation docket in August 2019 after the board in July 2019 rejected his commutation request. According to board rules, he should not have been reconsidered for a minimum of three years, yet was released in 2021 after the board recommended commutation, which was approved by Stitt, following the second request.
As a result, Delsie Pye and the families of the victims have filed a lawsuit against the governor, the Pardon and Parole Board and others for federal civil rights violations related to Anderson’s release, Fox reported.
The lawsuit is presently pending. Each defendant has filed a motion to dismiss the civil action.