More than three years after he produced a forged will after his girlfriend was fatally shot, Edward Blomfield – who pled guilty to the crime – was sentenced Tuesday. He will serve one year in Santa Barbara County Jail and five years of felony probation. Judge Brian Hill also granted District Attorney Mary Barron two additional requests: that Blomfield not be allowed to act in a fiduciary capacity for anyone and that any current or future employers know of his psychiatric condition.
Authorities claim Blomfield forged the will of Beverly Graham after she was shot and killed in her apartment by Jennifer San Marco just before San Marco went on a shooting spree at the Goleta U.S. Postal Service distribution center in January 2006, killing six others and then herself. The forged will left Graham’s entire estate, estimated to be worth $750,000, to Blomfield.
Less than a month after Graham’s death, Blomfield produced the will, which Graham’s family immediately contested in probate court. As the result of a complicated civil suit, in which a forensic examiner determined the will was forged, Blomfield was ordered to pay $340,000 in restitution to the Graham family and indicted in criminal court for burglary, financial elder abuse, forgery, conspiracy, and two counts of perjury. Blomfield pled guilty to all charges.
His final sentencing was pending almost a year, in part because Blomfield underwent a competency test, a several months-long process during which psychiatrists reviewed his mental state and determined that he was competent to be sentenced. At the request of Blomfield’s defense attorney, Steve Balash, Judge Hill exonerated the $25,000 bail and reduced Blomfield’s restitution fines from $10,000 to $1,000. Barron said she recognized that the court had already made a decision on Blomfield’s sentence but stated, “It does not seem fair or just that he should be able to buy his way out.” Although Hill granted two of Barron’s requests, he denied a third, that Blomfield not be able to serve as caretaker for the elderly or disabled, noting that this was a financial crime.
In his final comments, Hill said that although Blomfield’s crime was serious, being premeditated and done without due regard to other people in the descendant’s life and therefore deserving of a felony, it was not a horrific crime. He said Blomfield’s crime was deserving of the year in County Jail, and the man could face up to 10 years in state prison if he violates any terms of his probation. Noting that because there was no indication Blomfield ever engaged in similar actions and had no prior criminal history, Hill said there was not a strong argument for a state prison sentence.
Blomfield’s sister, Jeanne Blomfield, as well as two acquaintances, Lenae Stahr and Heidi Hodges, signed as witnesses on the forged will and had previously pled guilty to will forgery, conspiracy, and perjury.