A week after a jury convicted him of murder, Steven Blaylock was sentenced Thursday to life in prison with at least 25 years before he can seek parole, after a bizarre statement to the judge and a packed courtroom about how his wife wanted, after she died, to feed her "friends, the fish."
Deschutes County Circuit Judge Michael Adler imposed the sentence, and his lawyers said they plan to appeal it. Blaylock must wait 25 years before he can apply for parole.
After hearing the three people closest to Lori Blaylock sob through statements like this:
"The defendant made all her nightmares and insecurities come true," said Lori's sister, Cindy Wright.
Steven Blaylock attempted to justify dumping her body in the North Santiam River after murdering her.
"She really wanted her ashes spread in space by NASA. Obviously, that wasn't going to happen," said Blaylock.
Since Blaylock couldn't take his wife's corpse to space, he says that left him with few options.
"She also loved the servicemen and women of this nation, everybody knew that. Hher second option would be buried at sea. You've seen a casket slid off into the ocean. This was Lori -- she was very unique. This might sound like wild, I don't want to say accusations, but it might sound wild. But this is what Lori wanted, if at all possible. Well, that wasn't possible," said Blaylock.
What the 47-year-old decided was possible -- loading his dead wife's body into a covered utility trailer and driving more than an hour to Forest Service road 47 near Marion Forks, by the North Santiam River.
Police say Blaylock carried the lifeless body down a steep and rugged, 100-foot embankment.
He hid some of her blood-spattered clothes behind a nearby stump, then put her body in the fast-moving, frigid river.
Ironically, on Friday, Wright said she'd just visited the spot where Blaylock disposed of her sister's body, took a photo and later shared it with NewsChannel 21, along with this statement:
"My sister loved the snow along with a lot of mother nature other wonders. We talked in length about what she wanted in death when our mom passed and it wasn't to be shipped out to sea or dumped in a river half naked by a killer.
"As I reached the spot that she was so savagely dumped, the snow dusted the trees, forest floor, rhododendrons and swept all around the air. I think it's ironic, beautiful and still surreal that our first snow of the year was the day justice was heard. May Lori be skipping wherever she is and let it snow.
"I was upset that not more of the things we read to him made the news, but once again the act of a true psychopath has to get the last words and make it all about himself.
"I feel so sorry for his children along with mine.
"We won't have any trouble sleeping as far as his memory is concerned. We know the truth, and so did the jury, the judge, the DA's and her friends. And one last thing...
"She was a believer in faith, angels and a bigger power. We witnessed it together when our mom passed. She was into science, especially the ISS and shuttles. Maybe the only real thing he knew of her, but because of his actions AGAIN, there was no way to get her there.
I am in the process of getting one of her many drawings of the ISS on a Russian ride with an American astronaut to be put up on the ISS.
I'd gratefully take anyone else's help trying to make this happen if anyone knows some people at NASA, but either way I'll keep writing letters and trying to make it happen. It's the best I can do for her and her memory even though I feel that's probably somewhere she went right away once she left this journey.
- Cindy Wright
At his sentencing Thursday, Blaylock told the courtroom, filled with his wife's friends and family, that putting her body in the river was what she would have wanted.
"She made the comment, instead of being stuck in the ground. If I can't have my ashes spread in space, if I can't go to sea, .I would rather feed my friends, the fish," said Blaylock.