by sean i. mills Sentinel staff writer
An insolent Robert W. Blainey held little back this morning as he freely admitted to the brutal rape and murder of Utica motel-owner Linda Turner.
His arrogance was enough to stop Oneida County Court Judge Barry M. Donalty cold.
"There’s a chill in the air here, Mr. Blainey," Donalty told the serial rapist. "You’re the coldest person I’ve ever seen in this courtroom."
"Thanks for the compliment," Blainey replied with a smile.
He was then led away in handcuffs and ankle shackles. Blainey, age 45, will return for sentencing on March 16.
In the end, it seems Blainey, a two-time parolee, got exactly what he wanted: a return to state prison.
When Judge Donalty told Blainey that he would be sentenced to life in prison without parole by pleading guilty to first-degree murder, Blainey said he was ready to go.
"Let’s do it," Blainey answered contemptuously.
What followed was a lengthy and detailed description of the Nov. 2 rape and murder of Turner inside her home office at the Davis Motel in north Utica. Blainey described why he targeted the woman and how he killed her, and responded to the district attorney’s questions with a nonchalant "yep" throughout the proceeding.
"I was looking for the money," Blainey told the judge when asked why he went into Turner’s home on the afternoon of Nov. 2. Blainey was on the run from his parole officer, and had been hiding out at the motel since Halloween on Oct. 31.
When he saw Turner leave the home office, Blainey said he slipped inside and brought a rope with him.
"In case things got out of hand," Blainey explained.
Turner returned less than five minutes later, and Blainey said he was hiding in a side room. Turner began to eat dinner, but was drawn into that side room by a telephone call. That is when Blainey attacked.
"One of us had to go," Blainey told the judge. "And it sure as hell wasn’t going to be me."
During questioning by District Attorney Scott D. McNamara, Blainey said he started choking Turner with the rope as he pulled off her clothes. He said he eventually lost the rope and started choking Turner with her own belt. She fought back, scratching him in the face, but Blainey said he continued the assault and eventually raped her. Blainey said he choked her to death with his bare hands.
When asked by the judge if he knew she was dead, Blainey shrugged and said, "Far as I know."
Blainey said he then stole some cash and Turner’s car keys and fled to Pennsylvania. He was pulled over by a state trooper on Nov. 7 and was taken into custody. Turner’s body was found by an employee of the motel on the morning of Nov 3.
When he was stopped in northern Pennsylvania, prosecutors said Blainey was wearing woman’s underwear, and that the glove compartment and door pocket were filled with women’s and children’s underwear.
District Attorney Scott D. McNamara asked Blainey where the underwear came from.
"Beats the hell out of me," Blainey shrugged.
"Did you put them in that car?" McNamara asked.
"Maybe," Blainey replied.
There was no plea offer in this case. Blainey pled guilty to first-degree murder and accepted the maximum sentence of life in prison without parole. He had also been charged with first-degree rape, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and more.
"He’s a man who has very little good in him," McNamara said outside the courtroom. "He just wanted to go back to prison."
Blainey is a two-time parolee who had previously served two separate prison sentences for rape and attempted rape. Blainey served from 1985 to 1988 for attempting to rape an 8-year-old girl, and then from 1989 to May 8, 2009, for raping two adult women in Madison County. Prior to his release, Blainey told parole officers that "society is safer with me in prison," and that he didn’t not want to be released. Blainey eventually changed his mind and signed his release papers.
For roughly two years, Blainey said he lived in Utica and worked at St. Joseph’s Cemetery. McNamara said that Blainey became envious of a friend who was also on parole and who was doing well. McNamara said Blainey "had no life," and that prompted him to skip out on his parole officer on Sept. 26.
Blainey went into hiding in a building in west Utica, living in the basement. Blainey told investigators that he left that building because children often went into the building and dared each other to go downstairs, but they did not know he was down there, according to McNamara. Blainey eventually made his way to the Davis Motel.
"I think he’s just a very cold individual," McNamara said. "It’s about what he wants, and he takes what he wants."
McNamara said it was not Parole’s fault that Blainey was released. Instead, McNamara said Blainey should have been put into the civil confinement program for sex offenders.
It was a "breakdown in our system" that Blainey was not civilly confined, McNamara said. "Had he been civilly confided, this wouldn’t have happened."
Turner’s family lives out of state, and McNamara said they did not attend today’s court appearance. A friend of the Turner family did appear, so McNamara said Linda Turner was represented.