Gov. Stitt Asks For Investigation Of Pardon And Parole Board


Wednesday, March 3rd 2021, 10:45 pm
By: Sylvia Corkill


OKLAHOMA CITY -

The Pardon and Parole Board is under the microscope amid an order from the governor.

Governor Stitt wants the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to investigate whether Lawrence Anderson was mistakenly released from prison. He's now charged with a triple murder.

Anderson was sentenced to twenty years for previous crimes. But it was commuted to nine, and he only served three.

He was released just weeks before the murders in February. 

Related: Grady Co. Man Charged After Spree Killings, Accused Of Removing One Victim's Heart

“There's a reason why we seek those sentences because we know how long those offenders need to be off the street,” said Grady County District Attorney Jason Hicks.

Lawrence Anderson's early release from prison drew sharp criticism from Grady County District Attorney Jason Hicks.

“Do you feel safer in your communities today than you did before criminal justice reform started?” said Hocks.        

Court documents show on February 9 Anderson murdered his neighbor Andrea Blankenship. Investigators said Anderson cut her heart out, returned home and murdered his uncle and a four-year-old girl.

Family members are now asking why Anderson was released back into society.

“We know he had a history of violence against women. We know he sold crack cocaine in front of the elementary school in Chickasha and then had other charges, he has a rap sheet a mile long, “said Blankenship’s cousin Brooke Burris-Wofford.

Echoing their concerns, Governor Stitt sent a letter to the OSBI saying in part information was presented to him by Tom Bates, Director of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board, “...which raises concerns that violations of state law and/or violations of the rules of the Pardon and Parole Board may have been committed...”