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State to seek death penalty for man accused of Bend murder

BEND — 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.

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

Authorities say Lara kidnapped and tried to sexually assault Sawyer as she took a late-night walk and then killed her to cover up his crimes.

Hummel says he made the death penalty decision after considering the facts of the case and with input from Sawyer's family and law enforcement. The trial is set to begin October 10, 2017.

A grand jury also indicted Lara on federal charges Wednesday including carjacking, kidnapping, and two counts of brandishing a firearm. Authorities say Lara fled after the killing, kidnapping another woman in Salem, Oregon, and taking her to California.