BEND, Ore. (AP) — A Bend man who said he killed his wife in self-defense was found guilty of murder Thursday.
After six hours of deliberation, the Deschutes County jury found 47-year-old Steven Blaylock guilty in the death of Lori "Woody" Blaylock. He faces no less than 25 years in prison, the Bend Bulletin reported.
Lori Blaylock was a Eugene native and Churchill High School graduate.
Steven Blaylock was arrested in November 2010 following his wife's disappearance. He had initially told authorities that she walked away from the home and didn't return. He later admitted to killing her and dumping her body in a river. The body was never found.
During the trial, Blaylock's defense attorney — T.J. Spear — argued that he chocked his wife only in self-defense after she attacked him in a drunken rage.
Prosecutors argued that Blaylock, a part-time plumber's assistant, was after his wife's money.
The verdict sparked tears throughout the packed courtroom. Blaylock showed no emotion as the judge read the verdict.
His family and friends left the courthouse without commenting, holding hands and standing outside to talk with attorneys. But in a written statement, the family asked for privacy, especially for Blaylock's teenage son and daughter.
"Our family has been devastated by the loss of Lori Blaylock and offer our prayers to all those affected by this tragedy," according to the statement. "She was a member of our family too. While we have and always will believe in Steven Blaylock, we have to let the justice system run its course."
Lori Blaylock's friends mingled outside the courtroom after the verdict, hugging and talking about the friend they loved.
"It turned out the way it should have," said co-worker Julia Bachofer.
Roseanne Hammer, another co-worker, attended the trial daily. She believed justice was done and said she'll always remember her friend in happy times.
"The first day I met her she was skipping down the back hall (at the hospital)," Hammer said. "I'll always remember Woody skipping. I will not remember her rotting in a river."
Lori Blaylock's co-workers were the first to report her missing on Nov. 2, 2010, after she failed to show up for a shift at the hospital. She was last seen on Oct. 26, 2010, as she left the hospital.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press