An Oklahoma man who had been released from jail in January is now charged with three murders, including the death of a neighbor whose heart he cut out, local authorities said. Because of this, a judge on Tuesday denied bail for Lawrence Paul Anderson, who faces three counts of first-degree murder, one count of assault and one count of mutilation for the attack in the southwest Oklahoma City town of Chickasha.
According to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, Anderson is accused of killing 41-year-old Andrea Lynn Blankenship and cutting out her heart. Authorities say Anderson took the heart to her aunt and uncle’s home, cooked it with potatoes and tried to serve it to her before killing 67-year-old Leon Pye, injuring the aunt and killing Kaeos Yates, the couple’s 4-year-old granddaughter.
Anderson wept in court during an initial appearance Tuesday. “I don’t want any bail, your honor. I don’t want any bail,” he said. Anderson’s attorney, Al Hoch, indicated he will seek a mental review of the defendant to determine if Anderson is competent to stand trial.
Anderson had been sentenced in 2017 to 20 years in prison for probation violations in a drug case, the newspaper reported. Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt commuted the sentence last year to nine years in prison, and Anderson was released after serving a little more than three years.
Grady County District Attorney Jason Hicks criticized criminal justice reform that led to the commutation of hundreds of Oklahoma inmates. “It’s time we did better,” Hicks said. “If we have the highest incarceration rate in the world, that’s fine. We can look at our citizens and be honest with them and tell them it’s safe. I can’t tell the people in my district today that they are safe.”
Jason Nelson, Oklahoma’s acting secretary of public safety, has said the Oklahoma Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended Anderson’s commutation in a 3-1 vote.