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Tuesday, November 18, 2003

"Uncovering of the Brame facade" [The News Tribune]

..."There were opportunities for the last six months of David Brame's life for those who were around him to take action," [Attorney General Christine] Gregoire said. "There was a clear change in the behavior of an individual"...


Uncovering of the Brame facade

The News Tribune
Stacey Mulick
November 18th, 2003

David Brame's pending divorce destroyed his career and led several subordinates into questionable decisions and actions, the state's investigation found.

In the last months of his life, Tacoma's police chief was deteriorating emotionally, physically and mentally, Attorney General Christine Gregoire said Monday.

He was late or missed meetings. His appearance was unkempt, and he'd lost weight. He talked obsessively about his life, the investigation found.

Some coworkers reported Brame's behavior to then-City Manager Ray Corpuz. Others tried to mediate in the deteriorating marriage, counseled him about the divorce from his wife, Crystal, or accompanied him to a court hearing.

"There were opportunities for the last six months of David Brame's life for those who were around him to take action," Gregoire said. "There was a clear change in the behavior of an individual."

Nonetheless, Gregoire's office found no evidence that coworkers could have predicted Brame's actions on April 26, when he fatally shot his wife and himself.

Details about Brame's faltering career and his final months were among the revelations in the Washington State Patrol and attorney general's investigation.

"He had such a culture there of dictatorship," Gregoire said.

Criminal investigators found that Brame was not among the top three candidates for police chief in the closing months of 2001 and raised questions about how he emerged as a finalist.

City leaders who interviewed candidates recommended three. Brame wasn't one of them. The leaders discussed the need to add an internal candidate for the morale of the department, and Brame was added, according to investigators.

Two people dropped out, leaving Brame and Deputy Chief Patrick Stephens of Cleveland. Corpuz picked Brame.

As chief, Brame wielded too much control and fostered a corrupt culture during his 15 months, Gregoire said.

"It's almost like a storybook of what not to do," she said.

Specifically, Brame should not have had three subordinates accompany him to an April 10 court hearing on his divorce.

"That is absolutely cardinal that you don't do that," Gregoire said. "The message to the victim is: 'I have no out."

Brame also should not have talked about his marital troubles and interests in sex in the workplace, Gregoire said.

Brame should not have been able to dictate who was hired as legal adviser to the police department.

"Where is your check and balance?" Gregoire asked. "He should never have been able to do that."

Investigators also questioned some of Brame's promotions. "He's very demanding," Gregoire said, "and you had to have undying loyalty to him."

Uncovering of the Brame facade

Uncovering of the Brame facade
The News Tribune
Stacey Mulick
November 18th, 2003

David Brame's pending divorce destroyed his career and led several subordinates into questionable decisions and actions, the state's investigation found.

In the last months of his life, Tacoma's police chief was deteriorating emotionally, physically and mentally, Attorney General Christine Gregoire said Monday.

He was late or missed meetings. His appearance was unkempt, and he'd lost weight. He talked obsessively about his life, the investigation found.

Some coworkers reported Brame's behavior to then-City Manager Ray Corpuz. Others tried to mediate in the deteriorating marriage, counseled him about the divorce from his wife, Crystal, or accompanied him to a court hearing.

"There were opportunities for the last six months of David Brame's life for those who were around him to take action," Gregoire said. "There was a clear change in the behavior of an individual."

Nonetheless, Gregoire's office found no evidence that coworkers could have predicted Brame's actions on April 26, when he fatally shot his wife and himself.

Details about Brame's faltering career and his final months were among the revelations in the Washington State Patrol and attorney general's investigation.

"He had such a culture there of dictatorship," Gregoire said.

Criminal investigators found that Brame was not among the top three candidates for police chief in the closing months of 2001 and raised questions about how he emerged as a finalist.

City leaders who interviewed candidates recommended three. Brame wasn't one of them. The leaders discussed the need to add an internal candidate for the morale of the department, and Brame was added, according to investigators.

Two people dropped out, leaving Brame and Deputy Chief Patrick Stephens of Cleveland. Corpuz picked Brame.

As chief, Brame wielded too much control and fostered a corrupt culture during his 15 months, Gregoire said.

"It's almost like a storybook of what not to do," she said.

Specifically, Brame should not have had three subordinates accompany him to an April 10 court hearing on his divorce.

"That is absolutely cardinal that you don't do that," Gregoire said. "The message to the victim is: 'I have no out."

Brame also should not have talked about his marital troubles and interests in sex in the workplace, Gregoire said.

Brame should not have been able to dictate who was hired as legal adviser to the police department.

"Where is your check and balance?" Gregoire asked. "He should never have been able to do that."

Investigators also questioned some of Brame's promotions. "He's very demanding," Gregoire said, "and you had to have undying loyalty to him."

Stacey Mulick: 253-597-8268
stacey.mulick@mail.tribnet.com


(Published 12:01AM, November 18th, 2003)

Monday, November 10, 2003

"City of Tacoma Needs to Stop Pointing Fingers" - KOMO Ken Schram Commentary

...How do you defend the undefendable?...

City of Tacoma Needs to Stop Pointing Fingers
KOMO 4 NEWS
November 10, 2003
By Ken Schram

SEATTLE - Any port in a storm.

I imagine that's what the hair-brains who run the City of Tacoma are thinking these days.

That'd be the very same City of Tacoma that says it bears zero responsibility for its police chief killing his wife.

Yes, Tacoma.

The same city that is pointing its bureaucratic finger at the Seattle P.I. newspaper, and says it was published news stories that murdered Crystal Brame.

The very same city that says it's actually Gig Harbor Police that are really at fault.

Mind you, Tacoma is the same city that promoted an alleged rapist to be police chief.

And it's the same city that ignored reports of domestic violence in the chief's marriage.

Tacoma.

That would be the city that allowed its police chief to nurture a culture of deception and cronyism in the police department.

The very same Tacoma that allowed its city manager to wiggle out from under insurance fraud, which would be the same city manager that effectively gave David Brame the gun that killed his wife.

How do you defend the undefendable? Well, if you're one of the hair-brains that runs the City of Tacoma, you blame everyone but yourself.

You try to hide behind pointing at others.

Yep. Any port in a storm.

Want to share your thoughts with Ken Schram? You can e-mail him at kenschram@komo4news.com

http://www.komotv.com/stories/28237.htm

Friday, November 7, 2003

[FL] Ex-Officer Barnicoat gets life for murdering frightened ex-wife Laurie

...The couple divorced in June 2002. Three months before then, Laurie Barnicoat wrote a letter to a judge asking that her husband be ordered to stay away because she was afraid for her life and her two daughters...

FORMER OFFICER CONVICTED OF KILLING EX-WIFE AT PANHANDLE DAY CARE

Associated Press
Posted on Thu, Nov. 06, 2003

SHALIMAR, Fla. - A former Fort Walton Beach police officer will receive a mandatory prison sentence of life without parole for fatally shooting his ex-wife outside a day care center as she dropped off their 3-year-old daughter if his murder conviction stands.

A seven-man, five-woman jury took just more than two hours Wednesday to find Ronald Barnicoat guilty of premeditated first-degree murder. Barnicoat, 43, of Niceville, remained calm as the verdict was read and thanked the jury for its deliberation.

Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty so life will be the only sentence possible. Circuit Judge G. Robert Barron was ready to sentence Barnicoat immediately, but ordered a delay until Dec. 15 to give his lawyer time to submit a written motion for a new trial.

Assistant Public Defender Bruce Koran had argued the killing was a crime of rage, not premeditated. He said his client should have been convicted of second-degree murder, punishable by 20 years to life but with parole possible.

Several children in a nearby van witnessed the April 7 shooting, but did not testify. Barnicoat told jurors he went to the La Petite Academy in the nearby Bluewater Bay community to ask his former wife about a photo her cousin had taken of his van, not to kill her.

He acknowledged, however, that he was angry because he was afraid Laurie Barnicoat, 40, wanted to take their two daughters, Summer, 3, and Audra, 9, away from him.

"I just went berserk. Something snapped," Barnicoat testified. "I went into some kind of rage. I don't remember a lot after that."

Jurors, however, decided he knew exactly what he was doing from when he followed the victim from his home until he fired two shots.

The cousin, Gail Beasley, was with her and Summer when she was shot.

"It's a relief," Beasley said after the verdict. "It's the best possible outcome. I'm glad it's all behind me."

The couple divorced in June 2002. Three months before then, Laurie Barnicoat wrote a letter to a judge asking that her husband be ordered to stay away because she was afraid for her life and her two daughters, police said.

Ten days before the letter, Ronald Barnicoat had been taken into custody under the state's Baker Act that lets authorities apprehend a mentally unstable person. He had waved a knife outside his psychiatrist's office and told police to "just shoot me," according to a police report.

Tuesday, November 4, 2003

[MD] Officer Frendlick's wife: "I'll try to love you more."

Wife Pleaded in Vain With Arundel Officer Boyfriend, Husband in Murder-Suicide
Washington Post
Darragh Johnson
November 4, 2003

Lisa Frendlich said she pleaded with her estranged husband as he sat on the family-room couch with a .40-caliber, police-issued pistol pressed to his head. On the floor nearby, her boyfriend lay dead, shot several times by David K. Frendlich, 35, an Anne Arundel County police officer. Her two young sons stood outside, one still in his Halloween costume, waiting nervously after witnessing the shooting. "You've got two great kids who love you and need you," she told her husband, crying hysterically. "I'll try to love you more." But "he just shot himself," Lisa Frendlich remembered yesterday in her first interview since the incident Friday night. Police called the shooting a "murder-suicide as a result of an ongoing domestic dispute," sterile words to describe the "slow-motion" minutes on Halloween when Lisa Frendlich lost the father of her children, and the man she loved. Her boyfriend, Ronald L. Boliek, 35, was pronounced dead at her Millersville house. David Frendlich's body was taken to North Arundel Hospital, where he was pronounced dead of a gunshot wound to the head. Although they were emotionally estranged, Lisa Frendlich, 34, had moved back to their Millersville house because "it was really hard working out custody of the boys," ages 5 and 6, and paying for two households, she said... The police officer used to park his cruiser in front of Ron Boliek's house and once sneaked into Ron Boliek's bedroom and took a picture of himself to show Boliek he could get into his house, Richard Boliek said. Richard Boliek said his brother had complained to Anne Arundel County police, but a police source said that there was no internal affairs report about Frendlich's behavior and that police had never gone to Frendlich's home or Boliek's house because of a disturbance. "This guy was a loose cannon," an angry Richard Boliek said yesterday, on his way to make funeral arrangements for his brother. "He was a time bomb ticking and ready to go off. And two families are devastated now." Frendlich's boss, Sgt. Bret Ballam, said that David Frendlich had been late to work a few times last week but that otherwise, Frendlich was "very professional" and "meticulous. Everyone knew he had had some problems," Ballam said. "But it was a personal matter for him...."