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Man pleads guilty to killing wife inside Walmart

GREENVILLE (AP) — A Simpsonville man has pleaded guilty to stabbing his wife to death at a store nearly two years ago.

Avery Louis Blandin pleaded guilty Monday to murder in the death of Lilia Blandin in a bank she worked at inside a Walmart in Berea in 2011.

Circuit Judge Edward Miller sentenced Blandin 30 years in prison, followed by five years in prison for a weapons charge.

“I’m just so sorry this happened,” Blandin said. “I loved her. She was my wife. My best friend.”

Prosecutor Andrew Culbreath said video on the bank and witness testimony showed Avery Blandin entered the bank Dec. 10, 2011, and pulled a 12-inch kitchen knife and stabbed his wife as she stood behind a table at the bank. Culbreath says Blandin then pulled her onto the table and stabbed her repeatedly. He ran from the store and left in a vehicle that he later crashed.

Police records show the couple had a history of violence.

Family attorney Dan Farnsworthy said she had called police two days before she died and said her husband had hit her and threatened to kill her.

“This family has lost all confidence in the county’s law enforcement system,” Farnsworth said. “This could have been prevented.”

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