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Watch Maya Ruiz’s report
Oct 07, 2013
GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. —The man accused of stabbing his wife inside an Upstate Walmart pleaded guilty to the crime Monday afternoon.
Avery Blandin received a 30-year sentence for murder and 5-year sentence for possession of a weapon during a violent crime. The sentences will be served consecutively.
Blandin admitted that he stabbed his wife, Lilia, on Dec. 10, 2011 at the store on White Horse Road in Berea.
“I’m just so sorry this happened,” Blandin said in court. “I loved her. She was my wife. My best friend.”
Deputy Solicitor Andrew Culbreath said Blandin hid a 12-inch kitchen knife in his waistband and used it to stab his wife 12 times.
“He stabbed her until she fell over the back of the table, where upon he walked around and attempted to stomp on the victim,” Culbreath said.
Investigators said Blandin fled the store in an SUV and crashed it a short distance away.
“When officers found him, he was trying to stab himself saying, I’m going to hell. I’m going to hell,’” Susannah Ross, Blandin’s public defender, said.
Lilia was found with injuries and taken to the hospital where she died, according to the coroner.
The coroner said Blandin was an employee of Woodforest Bank inside the Walmart store, and was working at the time of the incident.
Dan Farnsworthy, Jr., the attorney for Lilia Blandin’s family, said they are considering taking legal action against several entities.
“This family has lost all confidence in the county’s law enforcement system,” Farnsworth said. “This could have been prevented.”
The couple had a history of violence, according to police records.
On Oct. 30, 2011, Avery Blandin was charged with criminal domestic violence. According to the warrant, Lilia Blandin told deputies that her husband punched her in the mouth and stomach after accusing her of cheating. Deputies said she had a swollen upper lip. The warrant says Lilia Blandin told deputies that she had not reported numerous other times that her husband had hit her because she feared for her safety and the safety of her children.
Lilia Blandin also called 911 within two days of her death to report that her estranged husband struck her in the stomach and threatened to kill her.
“She sought help from the local law enforcement and wasn’t able to get it,” Farnsworth said.
Ross said at the time of the stabbing, her client was possibly suffering from side-effects of antidepressants.
“Given his years of alcoholism and the antidepressants he was on, his personality was affected,” Ross said.
Ross said some of the symptoms include intense anxiety and fear and elevation of all emotion.
“Like she said. I just changed,” Blandin said. “I’m so sorry this happened.