According to KPTV, Edwin Lara, who was arrested in 2016 for the murder of 23-year-old Kaylee Sawyer of Bend, entered a guilty plea Monday morning, and will not face the death penalty as a result of a plea bargain. This is an about face from the not-guilty plea Lara entered on August 25, 2017.
Lara was arrested after a high-speed chase on I-5 near Corning, Calif., 36 hours after Sawyer’s death. According to police, his crime spree didn’t end after he allegedly killed Sawyer. He was also charged with two counts of kidnapping and one count of attempted murder.
Sawyer’s body was discovered in a remote canyon near Redmond. Prosecutors say she died of blunt force trauma, however his indictment alleged Lara kidnapped and attempted to rape Sawyer before killing her to cover the crimes.
Lara’s wife, a Bend Police officer, went to the authorities after he confessed to killing Sawyer. He originally told his wife it was an accident—that he’d hit Sawyer with his patrol car—and that he’d hid the body out of panic.
This is when Lara’s alleged crime spree started. Lara was extradited to Oregon on August 24, 2017. He apparently confessed to the killing of Sawyer, but his confession was ruled inadmissible by a Deschutes County judge because Lara was denied phone a phone call while in custody in Tehama County, Calif.
Lara will now serve a life prison sentence without the possibility of parole.