by AMANDA WINTERS
A 34-year-old Sequim man is in jail without bond pending potential aggravated first-degree murder charges after he allegedly killed two registered sex offenders.
Clallam County Sheriff’s Office investigators believe Patrick Boyd Drum shot Gary Lee Blanton Jr., 28, and Jerry Ray, 56, overnight before fleeing to the Blue Mountain area the morning of June 3, where he was arrested without incident after a three-and-a-half-hour manhunt.
According to a probable cause report, Drum told detectives he shot the two men because they were sex offenders and he had intended to drive to Jefferson County to kill another sex offender.
The incident is the second double homicide in the east end of Clallam County in a period of less than four months. In February, John Loring gunned down 19-year-old David Randle after killing Ray Varney, the father of his ex-girlfriend. Loring killed himself the next day during a standoff with police.
Clallam County Prosecutor Deb Kelly said she may seek the death penalty if she decides to charge Drum with two counts of aggravated murder with special circumstance. At Drum’s preliminary hearing June 4, Kelly requested Drum be held without bail, or on at least $2 million bail.
“It was clear he wasn’t going to stop at two victims,” Kelly said.
Extra security measures were in place for the hearing, with four Clallam County jail corrections deputies standing guard and a metal detector set up near the entrance of the courtroom.
Drum, wearing an orange jumpsuit, told Judge George Wood he wished to represent himself.
“The possible charge here is aggravated murder with the possibility of the death penalty or life without parole,” Wood said to Drum. “I would recommend you talk with an attorney before making that decision.”
Wood appointed attorney Karen Unger to represent Drum. Drum smiled and nodded as Unger took a seat next to him.
Unger requested conditions of release and bail be determined at a later hearing so she could talk to Drum. Charges are expected to be filed at a hearing today, June 6, at 1 p.m. and Judge Wood said conditions of release and bail could be argued at that time.
“I’m concerned about the vigilantism,” Kelly said. “I note there are online bloggers out there approving of Mr. Drum’s activities.”
As Drum was led out of the courtroom by two corrections deputies, he craned his neck around to look at the audience and smiled.
‘Help … I’m being shot’
A 9-1-1 call made at 9:26 p.m. June 2 plotted in the area of Sequim-Dungeness Way and Collins Road.
The caller said, “Help, 9-1-1, I’m being shot.”
Then the call went silent.
Deputies tried to call back, but the call went to voicemail and they weren’t able to trace the source of the call to a more specific location, according to a probable cause report filed in Clallam County Superior Court.
At 6:30 a.m. the next morning, deputies responded to the report of a suspicious man on the front porch of a home on the 6400 block of Blue Mountain Road, said Ron Cameron, Clallam County Sheriff’s chief criminal deputy. The homeowners said a man was sitting on their porch and identified himself as Patrick before saying they had nothing to worry about and walking away.
Deputy Michael Dick discovered an abandoned rental car nearby with a note inside signed by Patrick Drum, which read that he was sorry for the disturbances he caused. There also was an empty 9 mm bullet box in the car.
Cameron said as deputies began a search of the area there was a call for CPR in progress on a nonresponsive man with multiple gunshot wounds on Heuhslein Road.
According to the probable cause report, Ray’s father found him nonresponsive on the floor at 7:40 a.m. The father told deputies he heard something around midnight but thought it was just his dogs.
Responding medics found the front door of the home had been forced open and bullet casings were in the hallway between Ray’s bedroom and the living room.
With only a matter of miles between the suspicious person report, the abandoned car with an empty bullet box and a homicide, Cameron said deputies put two and two together and worked to isolate the area in an attempt to force the suspect to the south, away from more populated areas.
Cameron said a command center was established at Blue Mountain Road and Gellor Road and law enforcement agencies from across the county assembled there. The containment was set up by officers of the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Border Patrol, Washington State Patrol, Port Angeles Police Department, Sequim Police Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Washington State Fish and Wildlife.
A truck driver came down the hill and told deputies he dropped off a man matching Drum’s description in an area south of their location, just out of sight, Cameron said. Two K-9 units, Kilo and Jag, from the Port Angeles Police Department were deployed along with a Black Hawk helicopter from the air and marine branch of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
“This went on for two-and-a-half hours,” Cameron said.
A resident stopped near the command center was on the phone with his wife, who reported seeing Drum walking along a nearby access road, Cameron said.
Jason Carroll, Port Angeles office Border Patrol agent in charge, said Border Patrol agents took down Drum, subdued and unarmed him before turning him over to Sheriff’s deputies to make the arrest at 2:30 p.m.
“We support local law enforcement whenever we can,” he said.
Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict said the interagency teamwork was a success.
Undersheriff Ron Peregrin said having the helicopter hover low over the wooded area was instrumental in keeping Drum pinned down.
Police find a second victim
Acting on the concerns of Blanton’s wife, Sequim police responded to Drum’s home on the 5000 block of Sequim-Dungeness Way at 3 p.m. Blanton and Drum recently became roommates, said Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Lyman Moores.
Blanton’s wife hadn’t seen or heard from her husband and reported receiving a text message from Drum the previous night stating the two men were going camping, according to a probable cause report.
Officers found the doors to the house locked with padlocks, though one of the keys was still in the padlock. Upon entering the house, officers discovered Blanton dead with multiple gunshot wounds, Moores said. Autopsies of both victims were scheduled for June 5.
It is believed Blanton was the one who made the 9-1-1 call the evening of June 2.
Benedict said Drum was “very well known” to Sequim police.
Court records reveal Drum has multiple convictions in Clallam County stretching back to 1994. Convictions include residential burglary, fourth-degree assault, unlawful issuance of checks, possession of heroin, resisting arrest, tampering with a witness and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia.
In a report, Sheriff’s Detective Stacey Sampson said the circumstances of the two homicides indicate Drum planned to kill Ray and Blanton because they were registered sex offenders.
Ray pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree child rape in May 2002, according to court documents.
Blanton, who at the age of 17 pleaded guilty to third-degree rape of a 17-year-old deaf/mute girl in 2001, was supposed to go to trial Aug. 13 for one count of second-degree assault of a child, according to court documents. Police accused Blanton of assaulting his 7-month-old son, breaking his arm. Blanton also pleaded guilty on Feb. 28, 2005, to attempted kidnapping.
Benedict said the sex offender status of the victims makes no difference and anyone who is interested in taking the law into their own hands will be dealt with strongly.
He said the Sheriff’s Office extends their condolences to the families of the victims.
“No one deserves to die unless they’ve been adjudicated by a court to die,” Peregrin said.
“We don’t condone anything like that,” Moores added, referring to vigilantism against sex offenders. “We treat everyone the same.”
Moores said forensic evidence will take months to complete. The rest of the investigation should be complete in three to four weeks, he said.
“He (Drum) had a computer,” Moores said. “We would like to get that computer.”
The computer recently was sold to someone for $100 and may contain information vital to the investigation, Moores said.
He requested people with knowledge of the computer call the Sheriff’s Office at 417-2388.
Reach Amanda Winters at firstname.lastname@example.org.