Man accused of killing Bend woman makes first Oregon court appea - KPTV - FOX 12

Man accused of killing Bend woman makes first Oregon court appearance

Posted: Updated:
Edwin Lara appeared in a Bend courtroom by video Thursday, entering a plea of not guilty in his aggravated murder case. (KPTV) Edwin Lara appeared in a Bend courtroom by video Thursday, entering a plea of not guilty in his aggravated murder case. (KPTV)
BEND, OR (KPTV) -

The Central Oregon Community College security guard accused of killing a Bend woman and dumping her body made his first court appearance in an Oregon courtroom Thursday.

Edwin Lara, 31, is facing four charges of aggravated murder in the death of 23-year old Kaylee Sawyer.

The courtroom in Bend was packed with friends and family of Sawyer watching as Lara appeared by video, entering a plea of not guilty. He will be held without bail.

Investigators say that Lara kidnapped and attempted to rape Sawyer before killing her to cover up those crimes.

Those events are a stark contrast to what he apparently told his wife Isabel Ponce-Lara, a Bend police officer.

A court affidavit stated that Lara told her that Sawyer walked out in front of his security patrol car and he accidentally struck and killed her before panicking and hiding her body.

Sawyer’s body was found in a rural canyon outside of Bend.

Lara was finally arrested in California after a crime spree where he kidnapped an Oregon woman, shot a man in California and carjacked a family before being arrested.

Those who live in central Oregon said it's heartbreaking to watch the case unfold. The story has those living near the college on edge.

"When the story really started to unravel, I was a little apprehensive about walking up there because I go up alone a lot and it is just like who can you trust anymore," said Denise Miller.

"When I first heard of it I was with some friends, I was quite nerve-racked. I didn't think things like this would happen in Bend," said Lilly Emerson.

Prosecutors do have the option to seek the death penalty in this case.

Lara is due back in court on Sept. 28.

Copyright 2016 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
FOX 12
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation, Portland, OR . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.