Lilia Blandin was stabbed to death while at work. Her husband was charged in the murder.
Lilia Blandin earlier called 911 from her home to report being assaulted by her husband. Avery Blandin had just been released from jail.
The woman spent the night in her car with her daughters, fearful that Avery Blandin would injure her or her infant son who remained in their house.
The call was filed as a custody issue, not a domestic violence issue.
Deputies took 36 minutes to arrive at the house after the call and failed to properly investigate allegations.
The following day Avery Blandin arrived at the bank where Lilia Blandin was employed.
Reports say he stabbed her, dragged her over the counter, and stomped her head and neck. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the murder.
Lilia Blandin worked at the Woodforest National Bank branch in a Walmart where the murder occurred.
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A jury has found the Greenville County Sheriff’s office grossly negligent in the death of a woman who was stabbed inside a bank in an Upstate Walmart.
Lilia Blandin was at work in the Woodforest National Bank branch in the Walmart on White Horse Road in Berea on Dec. 10, 2011, when her husband, Avery Blandin, stabbed her, dragged her over a desk and stomped on her head and neck.
Avery Blandin pleaded guilty and was given a 30-year sentence for murder and a 5-year sentence for possession of a weapon during a violent crime. The sentences will be served consecutively.
Blandin had a history of domestic violence and at the time of the homicide, there were several pending charges against him for allegedly assaulting his wife.
The lawsuit filed on behalf of Blandin’s family also named the Walmart and the bank as defendants. The other claims were settled before to trial.
The day before she was killed, Lilia Blandin had called 911. In the recording of the call, she is heard saying, "I need some help because my husband has been arrested for domestic violence and he’s out of jail. And he’s in my house now. And I take my clothes. I try to leave the house so I don’t have to stay with him. And I try to get my stuff out. He beat me on the stomach and told me he was going to kill me. My baby is on the second floor and I have to go get her but I don’t want to go inside because I know he’s going to put me in a room and beat me up."
The lawsuit filed by Lilia Blandin's mother on behalf of the couple's children, who were 10, 7 and 3 at the time of her death, claimed the way the 911 call was handled, the lack of action by the deputies who responded, the lack of security and assistance by the bank and the Walmart all contributed to Blandin's death.
The lawsuit said Lilia Blandin called for help on the morning of Dec. 9, 2011, after she had been beaten by her husband and had spent the night in her car at her house with her daughters because her son was inside. Although she told dispatchers that her husband had a history of violence and she felt that her life was in danger, the lawsuit says the call was mistakenly logged as a custody issue, not a domestic violence issue.
The lawsuit says the dispatcher interrupted Blandin repeatedly during the call, and disregarded her allegations of domestic abuse and threats made by her husband. The lawsuit claims that the dispatcher was also irritated that Lilia Blandins's sister had also called 911 on her behalf.
The suit says it took 36 minutes for two deputies to arrive at the Blandins' home. It says the deputies failed to investigate the pending charges against Avery Blandin or his criminal record, nor did the deputies speak with the children who had heard the threats against their mother.
The lawsuit says the deputies did not research the situation enough to find that Avery Blandin was released from custody after two previous domestic violence incidents in the preceding 17 months, and that there were no contact orders against Blandin.
Lilia Blandin retrieved some of her belongings and her son from the home and went to her mother's house, according to the lawsuit. When she returned later in the day to see if her husband was gone and to get more of her belongings, she found their minivan in the driveway with the tires all slashed. The lawsuit says when Blandin's mother told her to call police about it, she said, "Oh momma, they'll just say it's only my version again."
On the day she was killed, Lilia Blandin and her mother woke to find a tire on the mother's car slashed outside her home.
Lilia Blandin went to work at the bank on the morning of Dec. 10. The lawsuit says despite Avery Blandin calling the bank's phone line 50 times over three hours that morning and co-workers knowledge of the couple's history of violence, the bank did nothing to increase security to protect Lilia Blandin.
At 1:15 p.m., Avery Blandin attacked and stabbed his wife. She was taken to a hospital where she later died.
"All of the money in the world will not bring Lilia Blandin back to life, but the family wants the people that caused this to be held accountable,"said, Dan Farnsworth, an attorney who represented the family.
The lawsuit also says that, despite a brutal attack happening in the store, the Walmart elected to stay open for Christmas shopping.
The lawsuit names the deputies and the dispatcher and claims that they were negligent and did not follow established procedures and orders.
The jury on Monday found the Sheriff’s Office grossly negligent and awarded her three children $1.25 million.
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