Tue, Jun 5, 2012
According to reports, Patrick Drum, 34, really hates sex offenders; at least that’s what the note he allegedly left for investigators seemed to indicate. Drum was arrested in Port Angeles after a 3-1/2 hour manhunt in dense woods, a result of the discovery of two dead bodies, both Level II sex offenders, both personal acquaintances of the accused. A Level II sex offender is defined as a person who has been convicted of a sex offense and presents a moderate likelihood of committing another similar offense.
The two victims, Jerry Wayne Ray, 56, and Gary Lee Blanton, 28, were found shot to death in separate houses. Ray owned a conviction for first-degree child-rape; Blanton, third-degree rape. The note Drum is said to have left for police indicated that he was sorry for his actions, but that it “had to be done,” and that he would take full responsibility for “taking care of some problems.” As it turns out, Blanton was renting a room from Drum at the time of the murders.
County Prosecutor Deb Kelly told Judge George Wood on Monday that Drum did not intend to stop with the two victims, but that he was determined to keep killing sex offenders until he was stopped. In fact, Kelly believes he was on his way to Jefferson County to murder another sex offender when he was caught.
Drum, who yawned throughout his initial hearing, indicated that he wished to represent himself. Kelly is seeking two charges of aggravated first-degree murder, each with potential for the death penalty.
I’m no lawyer, but I’m going to assume that the death penalty’s off the table, considering how difficult it would likely be to find a jury that would hand down that kind of penalty, considering the victims in the case. That may sound callous. I don’t care. That said, Drum is a convicted felon himself, having served four years at Walla Walla State Penitentiary for drug-related offenses. I suppose you also have the possibility that Drum will be used as an example for anybody who thinks he was fighting the good fight. So, who knows?
Sheriff Bill Benedict was pretty clear about his concern regarding anyone picking up where Drum left off. In a news conference, he stated, “Anyone who is interested in taking things into their own hands and deciding to attack sex offenders in the community, we will deal with them very strongly.” I have only one thing to say to Sheriff Benedict: “Anyone” is singular, so you should have used “him/her” before “very strongly.”