BEND (AP) — A former security guard's purported confession to killing a woman at the community college where he worked will be the subject of a hearing this week in a capital murder case in Bend, Oregon.
The first of three days of hearings is set for Tuesday in the case of Edwin Lara, who is charged with killing Kaylee Sawyer, 23, in July 2016. The killing rocked the town, which is well-known for its outdoor recreation and microbreweries and lies in the shadow of the Cascade Range.
The Bulletin, a Bend newspaper, reported that the hearing could include discussion about whether there was a violation of a judge's gag order on attorneys and investigators speaking about the case outside court.
Lara, 32, is accused of kidnapping, sexually assaulting and killing Sawyer, 23, while on duty as a Central Oregon Community College security guard.
He then drove to Salem, the state capital, where authorities say he kidnapped another woman and took her to California, then shot and wounded a man and carjacked a vehicle carrying three people. After a high-speed chase on the main freeway along the West Coast, the California Highway Patrol arrested Lara.
A detective from Oregon testified that he interviewed Lara in a California jail and that Lara described where he had dumped Sawyer's body.
Attorney Tim Williams on July 24 sued Central Oregon Community College and Lara on behalf of Sawyer's family, the Bulletin reported. The lawsuit describes an encounter between Sawyer and Lara in graphic detail.
Four days later, defense attorneys filed the motion seeking sanctions due to a violation of the judge's gag order. Williams said he has not been contacted by the court or anyone else involved regarding a possible violation of the gag order and that he believes it does not pertain to him.
The trial is scheduled to start in October 2018. Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel is seeking the death penalty.