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'Oh God,' Chickasha triple murder suspect says at first court appearance

Oklahoma murder suspect confesses to killing neighbor, cooking her heart, investigators say


CHICKASHA — Triple murder suspect Lawrence Paul Anderson wept Tuesday at his first court appearance in a case that includes evidence of cannibalism.

"Oh God," he said during the video arraignment. "Oh God."

He wiped away tears with his heavily bandaged right hand and made his remark after being told he had been charged with murder.

Anderson, 42, faces three counts of first-degree murder, one count of assault and battery with a deadly weapon, and one count of maiming. Grady County Special Judge Regina Lowe denied bail.

"I don't want no bail, your honor. I don't want no bail," he said.

He is accused of killing his uncle, Leon Pye, 67, and attacking his aunt, Delsie Pye, at their home in Chickasha Feb. 9. He also is accused of killing their granddaughter, Kaeos Yates, 4, and a woman who lived across the street. He was arrested at the Pye home after police responded to a 911 call for help.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation identified the neighbor Friday as Andrea Lynn Blankenship, 41.

The case has been called shocking both because of the grisly details and because the repeat felon had been released from prison in January after Gov. Kevin Stitt commuted his sentence.

OSBI agents reported Anderson confessed and said he killed the neighbor first and then cut out her heart.

He said he took the heart back to the Pye home to cook with potatoes "to feed to his family to release the demons," an OSBI agent wrote in a request for a search of the Pye home.

The OSBI reported collecting as evidence from the Pye home one cooking pot with residue inside and one cooking pot with food inside.

"Anderson ... cooked the heart at the Pye home and tried to make Delsie and Leon Pye eat the heart before he attacked them," another OSBI agent wrote in a request for a search of the neighbor's home.

Anderson has listed the Pye address as his home but an attorney for the Pye family said Tuesday he only visited there since his release. He was staying instead at an inn, the attorney said.

"They were surprised to see him just show up, that he was out. They had no prior knowledge that he was being released and they had never consented to him listing their address as his home," Oklahoma City attorney Robert Wagner said.

Anderson had been sentenced in 2017 to serve 20 years behind bars for probation violations on a drug dealing case and for new crimes. The governor commuted the sentence last year to nine years at the recommendation of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board.

He was released after serving a little more than three years.

"When is enough enough?" Grady County District Attorney Jason Hicks said at a news conference after filing the murder charge.

"We have seen 'criminal justice reform' in the state of Oklahoma now for several years," he said. "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.

"And that's not fair to the people of the state of Oklahoma. And we have to come to terms with that."

He said Oklahomans do not feel safer because of the changes.

The prosecutor revealed that the Pardon and Parole Board took up Anderson's application for commutation in January 2020 at the same time it was considering 600 others. "It's too many. You don't have the time to look through those things and give any meaningful consideration to them," he said.

"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."

He said the reformers talk over and over about the nonviolent offenders in prison.

"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."

During the initial court appearance, defense attorney Al Hoch indicated he will ask to have Anderson evaluated to determine if he is mentally competent to be prosecuted. Anderson told a judge when he pleaded guilty to the 2017 crimes that he took bipolar medications.

For 35 years, watchdog reporter Nolan Clay has covered many of the state's biggest stories for The Oklahoman. Support his work by subscribing today at

Nolan Clay

Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,... Read more ›