Alleged Serial Killer Held to Answer After Preliminary Hearing
Originally published on Tehama County District Attorney’s Office–
“An Oroville man, who has been held in jail on an attempted murder case since June 2020, was in court today for a preliminary hearing on charges related to an alleged previous killing spree in Butte and Tehama counties. Ryan Scott Blinston, 38, of Oroville, he was held to answer today for three separate counts of murder, attempted murder, and arson, which took place in May and June of 2020.
Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey and Tehama County District Attorney Matt Rogers said the evidence presented today showed Blinston worked for a tree-trimming service and was part of a work crew at the home of Loreen Severs, 88, and Homer Severs, 91, on May 18, 2020.
The Severs’ lived in Los Molinos and the evidence showed Blinston travelled to Los Molinos from Oroville, on the morning of May 23, 2020, and killed Loreen and attempted to kill Homer after a forced entry into their home. Both had their throats cut.
Homer survived the attack, but later died of an unrelated illness in December of 2020. Ramsey and Rogers said evidence was presented today showing that on June 4, 2020, Blinston again was part of a tree-trimming work crew that serviced the home of Sandra George, 82, in Oroville.
The prosecutors said after the work was completed and the crew left, Blinston returned to George’s home and killed her. As with the Severs, her throat was slashed inside her home. Further evidence was presented at today’s hearing that on June 6, 2020, Vicky Cline, 57, an acquaintance of Blinston, was last seen alive with him in downtown Oroville.
An arson fire destroyed Cline’s car later that night. Blood and DNA evidence on and in Blinston’s car was forensically matched back to Cline. Her body was later discovered by a fisherman in the Feather River near Belden on June 21, 2020.
Damage to her throat was consistent with the other victim murders. Butte County Superior Court Judge Michael Candela ruled after the hearing that there was sufficient evidence to proceed to trial in the murders, attempted murder and arson case against Blinston.
Judge Candela also scheduled the case for arraignment and jury trial setting for tomorrow, January 26, 2022. Blinston is also scheduled tomorrow to set a jury trial date on the separate attempted murder case that he had already been held to answer on.
In that case, Blinston was accused of attempting to murder a 50-year-old man in the man’s Brush Creek trailer on June 14, 2020, while a SWAT team was approaching to arrest Blinston for the Cline arson. Blinston was then held in Butte County Jail as investigators put together the other Butte and Tehama murder cases.
Blinston continues to be held without bail as he is facing multiple murder cases and a sentence of life without parole.”