State to seek death penalty for Edwin Lara

The trial is set to begin October 10, 2017

Edwin Lara plead not guilty to the charge of aggravated murder for the death of Kaylee Sawyer, August 25, 2016 (KOIN)
Edwin Lara plead not guilty to the charge of aggravated murder for the death of Kaylee Sawyer, August 25, 2016 (KOIN)

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Officials say the state will seek a sentence of death against a Redmond man charged with killing a woman whose body was found near an Oregon highway.

Kaylee Sawyer, 23, in an undated photo from her Faceook page, July 26, 2016
Kaylee Sawyer, 23, in an undated photo from her Faceook page, July 26, 2016

Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said in a news release that he informed the court of the state’s intention on Wednesday. Edwin Lara is charged with murder in the July death of 23-year-old Kaylee Sawyer.

Authorities say Lara, a security officer at Central Oregon Community College, kidnapped and tried to sexually assault Sawyer as she took a late-night walk near campus and then killed her to cover up his crimes.

Hummel says he made the decision after considering the facts of the case and with input of Kaylee Sawyer’s family, law enforcement and the requirements of the law.

Lara also faces federal charges of carjacking, kidnapping and 2 counts of brandishing a firearm. Those charges are related to the alleged kidnapping and carjacking of a Salem woman.

The FBI and Oregon law enforcement agencies are investigating the case.

The trial is set to begin October 10, 2017.

KOIN 6 News Staff contributed to this report.