A man has been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to one of the most gruesome and heinous crimes imaginable. Lawrence, a 44-year-old man who was released from prison as part of a mass commutation effort, killed three people, including a woman whose heart he cut out of her body. This was only weeks after his release from prison.
Lawrence’s plea deal spared him from the death penalty, but he will spend the rest of his life in prison without parole. Prosecutor Jason dropped plans to seek the death penalty at the request of the victims’ families, who didn’t want to relive the horror of their loved ones’ deaths in a lengthy trial.
The details of Lawrence’s crime are shocking and hard to comprehend. He broke into the home of Andrea, 41, and fatally stabbed her, before cutting out her heart and taking it to the home of his uncle and aunt, Leon and Delsie. He then cooked and attempted to serve the heart to the them, before fatally stabbing Leon, 67, and his 4-year-old granddaughter, Kaeos. Lawrence also wounded his aunt, Delsie, during the attack.
During the sentencing hearing, Delsie, 66, expressed her heartbreak at the realization that a family member could commit such a heinous crime. Meanwhile, Tasha, the mother of Kaeos Yates, expressed her anger and disbelief at the tragedy that befell her daughter, exclaiming, “Who kills a baby…who does that?”
It is worth noting that Lawrence was released from prison less than a month before the February 2021 attacks, following a commutation of his 20-year prison sentence for drug-related crimes by Governor Kevin, at the recommendation of the state Pardon and Parole Board. A subsequent grand jury investigation found that Anderson was wrongly placed on the commutation docket in August 2019, after the board had rejected his commutation request the previous month. Under board rules, Lawrence would have been required to wait three years before reapplying for commutation. The board ultimately recommended commutation following his second request, which was approved by Governor Kevin.
Delsie and the families of the victims have filed a lawsuit against the governor, the Pardon and Parole Board, and others, citing federal civil rights violations related to Lawrence’s release. Although the lawsuit is still pending, all defendants have filed motions to dismiss the action. The events that transpired are a chilling reminder of the devastating consequences of inadequate justice reforms and the importance of ensuring public safety.