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Eugene man sentenced to life for killing grandmother

March 9, 2022 GMT

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A Eugene man who pleaded guilty to beating his grandmother to death in Creswell has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

James Holt, 47, was sentenced in Lane County Circuit Court after reaching a plea deal and changing his plea to guilty in December to first-degree murder of his 87-year-old grandmother Sally Baldwin on April 5, 2019, The Register-Guard reported.

Lane County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded that night to Baldwin’s house. Sgt. Thomas Speldrich said in a news release Monday that Baldwin was severely beaten and unable to provide much of a statement about what happened.

Deputies found a door kicked in and some of her belongings scattered about, Speldrich said. Baldwin was taken to a hospital where she died later in April.

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The Lane County Medical Examiner’s Office determined her death was caused by complications of immobilization due to multiple blunt force injuries from the assault.

Baldwin’s grandson was initially investigated as a person of interest and was formally charged in May 2019 with murdering Baldwin.

As part of the plea deal, other charges of rape, robbery, burglary and three other counts of first-degree murder were dropped. The four counts of murder were for different legal theories regarding Baldwin’s killing, according to assistant District Attorney Robert Lane.