Man who gunned down sex offenders gets life in prison

Man who gunned down sex offenders gets life in prison
PORT ANGELES, Wash. -- A man who gunned down two sex offenders on the Olympic Peninsula was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without possibility of parole, but a judge warned those sympathetic to his cause to back off.

Patrick Drum, 34, shot Gary Lee Blanton, 28, on June 2 at a home Drum was renting near Sequim. Blanton was renting a room in the home. Drum then drove to the home of Jerry Wayne Ray, 57, in the Agnew area near Port Angeles where Ray was killed the next morning.

Later that day, Drum abandoned a rental car he had been driving and was soon located after witnesses reported seeing a suspicious man in a remote area of the northern Olympic Peninsula.

Responding deputies found the car and a note inside that led to the victims and identified Drum as a suspect. Police said the note offered an apology for what he had done and that he took full responsibility for "taking care of some problems."

Dozens of officers responded to the area. Drum was tracked down by a dog team and flushed out of a wooded area following a three hour manhunt.

Investigators say Drum knew both men were sex offenders, and both victims were shot multiple times.

"There's no way to explain how horrible it is to see your children saying their last goodbyes," said Leslie Blanton, Gary's wife. "Shaking him... saying, 'daddy up. Daddy up.' "

During sentencing Tuesday, the judge made it clear there should be no kind of vigilantism and told Drum's supporters to back off from the attacks on the victims' families.

Leslie Blanton says people who support Drum and consider him a "hero" have stalked their house, thrown things at their car, spat on them and more.

"Just last night, I had carloads of people outside my house and I had to call the police to remove them," she said. "Who's there to protect my kids, Pat?"

Leslie Blanton says her husband is listed as a sex offender because he had consensual sex with a freshman when he was a senior in high school. The sheriff's office online record of sex offenders shows Blanton was convicted in November 2001 of third-degree rape.

Ray was convicted in August 2002 of child rape.

After he was caught, Drum admitted that he planned to continue killing sex-offenders until he was caught.

In court Tuesday, Drum was not very apologetic. "It was never my intent to hurt the families involved, that's like collateral damage that I feel bad about," he said. "If anybody is bothering folks, the families of my victims, I would ask that they not do that. As for the men themselves, actions speak louder than words."