Ore. man tells of dumping wife's body, stuns court

AP News
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Posted: Nov 18, 2011 8:17 PM
Ore. man tells of dumping wife's body, stuns court

The judge called it bizarre, and the victim's sister fled the courtroom in disgust. The prosecutor said they were the words of a sociopath.

Just before he was sentenced to life in prison for killing his wife, Steven Blaylock said he dumped her body in the North Santiam River because she had said that if her remains couldn't be blasted into space or buried at sea, she wanted to "feed my friends, the fish."

There were gasps in the courtroom Thursday afternoon as Blaylock's statement to the judge brought the trial to an end.

Blaylock was arrested a year ago after co-workers reported that Lori "Woody" Blaylock failed to show up for a shift at the Bend hospital where she'd been a respiratory therapist for more than 20 years.

Initially, Steven Blaylock told investigators she had walked away after an argument over a World Series bet.

Later, he showed investigators were he had put her body _ in the North Santiam River 70 miles northwest of Bend. Investigators say he carried it down a 100-foot embankment, hid some of her clothes behind a stump and put it into the cold and turbulent river.

Her body has not been found. Kayakers reported glimpsing a body, but it was gone by the time authorities could get to it.

During the trial, Blaylock's lawyers argued that he killed his wife in self-defense during a struggle. The prosecution said the part-time plumber's assistant was after her money. His defense took about a day, and Blaylock did not testify. In six hours, a jury convicted him of murder.

At the sentencing Thursday, he made a lengthy statement about his discussions with his wife about how she wanted to dispose of her remains, recorded by KTVZ-TV:

"She made the comment, instead of being stuck in the ground, if I can't have my ashes spread in space, if I can't go to sea, I would rather feed my friends, the fish."

Lori Blaylock's sister, Cindy Wright, hurried from the courtroom and shouted, "You make me sick."

Judge Michael Adler then imposed a life sentence. Under Oregon law, Blaylock, 47, can apply for parole after 25 years.

The judge called the statement a "bizarre story" and recalled being struck by what little emotion Blaylock displayed.

"I didn't know that you could top what you'd displayed so far in this case, but you did today," Adler said.

District Attorney Patrick Flaherty held a post-trial news conference, The Bulletin reported.

"I'm not a psychologist, but I firmly believe after today that he's a sociopath," the prosecutor said.

After the sentencing, Blaylock called KTVZ to repeat his claim of self-defense. The station reports that his lawyers plan an appeal.

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Information from: KTVZ-TV, http://www.ktvz.com/