An Oklahoma man who was released early from prison as part of a mass commutation effort and weeks later admitted to killing a 4-year old girl, his uncle and a woman whose heart he cut out and cooked was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday, according to court documents.
According to court documents, Lawrence Paul Anderson, 44, admitted to fatally stabbing Andrea Lynn Blankenship, his uncle Leon Pye, 67, and his uncle's 4-year-old granddaughter, Kaeos Yates "on or about" Feb. 9, 2021, in Chickasha, Oklahoma. Anderson had been released early from prison in January 2021.
Anderson also admitted to injuring his aunt, Delsie Pye, by stabbing her and gouging out one of her eyes.
Authorities say Anderson brought Blankenship's heart to his aunt and uncle’s house, cooked it with potatoes and tried to serve it to them before killing his uncle, wounding his aunt and killing the pair's granddaughter.
Anderson pleaded guilty on Wednesday to three counts of murder in the first degree, one count of assault and battery with a deadly weapon and one count of maiming, which reduced his sentence from death to five counts of life in prison, three without parole.
Anderson's attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Anderson had been sentenced in 2017 to 20 years in prison for probation violations on a drug case, the Oklahoman 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 the criminal justice reform that led to the commutations of hundreds of Oklahoma inmates.
“It is time that we do better,” Hicks said. “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.”