BEND, OR -- The man convicted of killing Kaylee Sawyer received a second life sentence, this week. Edwin Lara pleaded guilty and was sentenced in a Eugene federal courtroom, Thursday, for kidnapping and carjacking a Salem woman at gunpoint, during the July 2016 crime spree that started with Sawyer's murder in Bend.
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel says Aundreah Maes deserved to tell her story in court, "Aundreah Maes was put through holy heck at the hands of Edwin Lara. She was Terrorized." He tells KBND News, "Fortunately for everyone, she is still with us today. She was not killed like Kaylee Sawyer. And, it's certainly appropriate that Lara was sentenced separately; that was a distinct crime." Hummel says, "Whenever there's multiple victims in a crime spree, it's important that each victim's voice be heard, respected, and valued. This was for Aundreah Maes, and she spoke loud and clear."
Federal prosecutors say that after kidnapping Maes, she and Lara drove to Yreka, California where he demanded an elderly man give up his car. When he didn't, Lara shot him in the stomach. Lara then carjacked a vehicle and threatened to kill a family, before leaving them on the side of the road. Lara said he had an urge to kill. He was eventually arrested in California. Hummel says, "A life sentence is appropriate for Edwin Lara, and so he'll spend the rest of his life behind bars." And, faces more punishment in California, "For life sentences, you know, you can't effectively run life sentences consecutive. But, for the victims in the other communities, it's important that we hold these sentencing hearings so their voices can be heard." He adds, "The victims will have the opportunity to tell the court what the impact was on their lives from Mr. Lara's reprehensible actions."
Lara's 2016 crime spree inspired Kaylee's Law, a bill outlining strict regulations for community college public safety agencies. Investigators believe his position with COCC's security force allowed him to take advantage of Sawyer. The bill unanimously passed the Oregon Senate this week. It's now being considered in the House.