Man pleads guilty to killing man in NE Portland WinCo bread aisle

Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 5:28 PM PST
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - It was an emotional day in a Multnomah County courtroom Monday afternoon as the family of a man who was killed in a Northeast Portland WinCo watched as the judge handed down a 25-year prison sentence to his killer.

Blake Daniels sat before the judge and plead guilty to first-degree manslaughter, robbery, and a felon in possession of a firearm, for the death of 60-year-old Jay Underwood. He initially pled not guilty to murder, robbery, and unlawful use of a weapon charge. But after months of negotiations with prosecutors, Daniels will now serve 25 years behind bars for taking Jay’s life. His wife Becky addressed the court, holding back tears.

“I’d like to know why. Why you did do this thing?” Becky said. “This thing that’s changed the rest of my life and my family’s so much. I hope this horrible thing you’ve done haunts you for the rest of your life.”

Daniels also addressed the court, apologizing for killing Jay.

“I’m sorry for everything I’ve done,” Daniels said. “I was not on meds the whole time when this happened. I know nothing can bring Jay back, but if I could trade places with him I would.”

According to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, Jay was in the bread aisle of the WinCo in March of 2021 when Daniels shot him in the head. He then stole a separate couple’s car in the parking lot to get away. Becky said they knew the shooter for years as someone whom Jay would help out occasionally. But it’s still unclear why Daniels shot Jay.

Debbie Harwood, Becky’s sister, said it felt like time stopped for his family when Jay was killed. But now with his killer behind bars, Debbie said they can all move one.

“It would have been nice to have gone trial because maybe he would’ve gotten more time.,” Debbie said. “But 25 years, that’s going to take a good chunk out of his life.”

Daniels also pleaded guilty to another unlawful use of weapon charge in a domestic violence case with his then-girlfriend. That sentence is part of the total 25 years Daniels will be behind bars.