At a last-minute hearing in Clallam County Superior Court Thursday, Patrick Boyd Drum, 34, of Sequim, pleaded guilty to all charges stemming from a June double murder.
Drum shot and killed Gary Lee Blanton Jr., 28, and Jerry Wayne Ray, 55, before fleeing four miles up Blue Mountain Road and eluding law enforcement for several hours June 3.
Blanton and Ray were both registered sex offenders and Drum told Sheriff’s deputies that is why he killed them, according to court documents.
Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney Deb Kelly said Drum’s guilty plea doesn’t make it any less of a tragedy, but she hopes it allows the victims’ families to grieve more productively.
Blanton was married and had two young sons. Ray lived with his aging father in the Agnew area.
It is a swift conclusion to what has been, at times, a confusing turn of events. From the start, indicating he wanted to represent himself, at his second court hearing following the murders Drum told Judge Ken Williams he wanted to plead guilty.
“I’m guilty,” he said. “I want to plead guilty.”
At the time, the court had appointed Port Angeles defense attorney Karen Unger to represent Drum.
Unger pointed out that since Kelly indicated she may seek the death penalty, Drum could not plead guilty at that time.
Kelly also filed a motion to have Drum’s competency evaluated but withdrew it before the court could rule.
In a court hearing June 28 Drum told Williams he wanted to represent himself because he “stood up for a belief and the attorneys don’t have the same belief.”
After asking Drum a series of questions, Williams allowed him to represent himself and Unger was retained as standby counsel.
That didn’t last long.
After Kelly announced she would not be seeking the death penalty, Drum requested Unger be reappointed to represent him.
“I’ve got a lot of people who care about me begging me to keep my counsel so I will do that,” Drum said at a July 13 hearing.
At that point, Williams moved Drum’s trial date from Aug. 6 to Oct. 22. The trial was expected to last up to three weeks but will no longer be necessary.
“I’m very pleased Mr. Drum decided to accept responsibility, spare the victims’ families a trial and save the taxpayers a lot of additional expense,” Kelly said.
Drum faces a sentence of life without parole on the two aggravated first-degree murder charges.
Additionally, he pleaded guilty to burglary in the first degree and unlawful possession of a firearm. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 13 and he remains in custody at the Clallam County jail where he is being held without bond.