Man 'cut out neighbour's heart and cooked it before killing relatives'

Tom Flanagan and Associated Press
·3-min read

A man released early from prison is accused of killing his neighbour before attempting to serve her heart to family members and then killing his uncle and his four-year-old granddaughter.

Lawrence Paul Anderson, 42, is facing three counts of first-degree murder, one count of assault and one count of maiming for the attack this month in Chickasha, about 55km southwest of Oklahoma City in the US.

According to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, Anderson is accused of killing Andrea Lynn Blankenship, 41, and cutting out her heart.

Authorities say Anderson brought the heart to his aunt and uncle’s house, cooked it with potatoes and tried to serve it to them before killing Leon Pye, 67 and wounding the aunt before allegedly murdering Kaeos Yates, the pair’s 4-year-old granddaughter.

An undated photo provided by the Grady County Sheriff's Office shows Lawrence Paul Anderson, a man who had been released early from prison in January.
Lawrence Paul Anderson is accused of three murders, including two family members. Source: Grady County Sheriff's Office/ AP

Anderson sobbed in court during an initial court appearance Tuesday, The Oklahoman reported.

“I don’t want no bail, Your Honour. I don’t want no bail,” he said.

According to the publication, Anderson allegedly confessed to Ms Blankensip's murder.

The court filing said he cooked her heart to "release the demons".

He allegedly stabbed his aunt in her eyes, US news outlet KFOR reported.

Grandfather Leon Pye, 67, is pictured left and his four-year-old granddaughter, Kaeos Yates, appears in a photo on the right.
Leon Pye, 67, and Kaeos Yates, 4, were killed in the alleged attack. Source: KFOR

Anderson’s attorney Al Hoch indicated he would seek a mental evaluation to determine whether Anderson was competent to stand trial.

Anderson had been sentenced in 2017 to 20 years in prison for probation violations on a drug case, the newspaper reported.

His first stint behind bars came in 2006 for four years after attacking his girlfriend, pointing a gun at her and intent to deal crack cocaine.

Republican Governor Kevin Stitt commuted the sentence last year to nine years in prison and Anderson was released after serving a little more than three years.

On a GoFundMe page for her mother, Ms Blankenship's daughter Haylee said Anderson "should never have been let out of prison early".

Andrea Blankenship is pictured in a selfie.
Andrea Blankenship's heart was cut out, authorities say. Source: GoFundMe

Grady County District Attorney Jason Hicks criticised the criminal justice reform that led to the commutations of hundreds of Oklahoma inmates.

“It is time that we do better,” Mr Hicks said.

“If we have the highest incarceration rate in the world, okay. 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.”

Jason Nelson, Oklahoma’s interim secretary for public safety, has said the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board recommended commutation for Anderson on a 3-1 vote.

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