Co-defendant in Perry Lake murder case pleads guilty during trial

photo by: Jefferson County Sheriff's Office

Ashlyn N. Hemmerling

A Baldwin City woman charged with murder in the death of a Lawrence man last year at Perry Lake pleaded guilty to the crime during a jury trial this week.

Jefferson County Attorney Josh Ney announced the plea by Ashlyn N. Hemmerling in a news release Thursday.

Taylor D. Sawyer, 22, was fatally shot in a remote area of Perry Lake on March 14, 2018.

In the following days, Hemmerling and co-defendant Jonathan D. Blevins, of Topeka, were both arrested and charged with first-degree premeditated murder.

A Jefferson County jury convicted Blevins in March, and a judge sentenced him to life in prison, with no chance at parole for 50 years.

Hemmerling’s trial began Monday, and she pleaded guilty to the original charge after the state presented its evidence over three days, Ney said.

Hemmerling is scheduled to be sentenced July 25, Ney said.

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