by AMANDA WINTERS
Patrick Drum, 34, accused of killing two Sequim-area men in June, changed his mind in court Friday and requested defense attorney Karen Unger be reappointed to represent him.
After Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney Deb Kelly told Judge Ken Williams she would not be seeking the death penalty, Drum announced he changed his mind about representing himself.
“I’ve got a lot of people who care about me begging me to keep my counsel so I will do that,” Drum said to Williams during the hearing.
Drum faces two charges of aggravated first-degree murder, one count of burglary and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in the shooting deaths of Gary Lee Blanton Jr., 28, and Jerry Ray, 55.
At the July 13 hearing, Drum, shackled and wearing a striped jail uniform, turned around in his seat to look at Blanton’s widow before being scolded by a corrections deputy and instructed to turn around.
Kelly considered seeking the death penalty but ultimately decided against it. In a statement, Kelly said she reviewed reports and information by law enforcement, standby defense counsel and other sources and spoke with the grieving members of the Blanton and Ray families.
“Based upon the information now in my possession, I have concluded that a jury would likely find mitigating circumstances warranting leniency in the defendant’s life history,” she said.
Kelly said she will instead seek a sentence of life without parole if Drum is convicted at trial.
“Vigilantism has no part in a civilized society and will not be tolerated by law enforcement or prosecutors in this county,” she said in the statement.
“I have been appalled by comments suggesting premeditated murder is somehow praiseworthy. Anyone taking the law into their own hands in Clallam County will face vigorous investigation and prosecution for any crime they commit.”
Unger requested the Aug. 6 trial date be continued to Oct. 22. Kelly and Judge Williams agreed to the continuance. The trial is expected to last two to three weeks. The next hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 14.
Reach Amanda Winters at email@example.com.