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Thursday, April 30, 2009

[SC] DUI charges dropped for Officer Simmons - who crashed his cruiser & was fired after fight with his girlfriend

...Investigators said Simmons had gotten into a fight with his girlfriend and then hit a tree in his police car. After his arrest, Simmons was fired from his job as a police officer...

I have no idea what kind of "fight" he had.

DUI CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST FORMER POLICE OFFICER

wyff4
April 29, 2009

ANDERSON, S.C. -- A DUI case against a former Pickens Police officer was dropped on Wednesday.

Former Officer Irving "Rocky" Simmons appeared in court in Anderson for his trial on a drunken driving charge from 2007.

Simmons was arrested on Dec. 31, 2007 after an accident.

Investigators said Simmons had gotten into a fight with his girlfriend and then hit a tree in his police car.

After his arrest, Simmons was fired from his job as a police officer.

The state trooper who had cited Simmons for DUI did not appear in court on Wednesday, leading the judge to drop the charges in the case.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

[CO] Denver KEPT suicidal & shooting Officer Kachina McAlexander - and GUESS WHAT!

...According to the Denver Post, McAlexander faced weapons charges in 2006 after firing at a television and at the walls of her home in Adams County. Like last week's incident, McAlexander was reportedly suicidal at the time...

There are more ways to help someone than put them back on the job. Maybe every state should have a special division for retraining resigned officers and helping them find a less stressful, unarmed new job.

ATTEMPTED MURDER CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST POLICE WOMAN WHO FIRED AT OFFICERS
But aggravated assault charges remain.
Rapid City Journal
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
A Denver woman who shot at Custer sheriff's deputies and a state Highway Patrol officer who were checking on her well-being will not face attempted murder charges. Kachina McAlexander, 31, a 10-year veteran of the Denver Police Department, still faces three charges of aggravated assault against law enforcement, a felony carrying a steeper penalty... McAlexander was originally charged with three counts of attempted second-degree murder and the alternate counts of aggravated assault against law enforcement after an incident at a Custer motel in late March. The attempted murder charges were eliminated at a hearing this week before 7th Circuit Magistrate Judge Mark Marshall. Officers were summoned to the hotel after learning that McAlexander could be suicidal. When they arrived, McAlexander allegedly fired shots at the officers... [Custer County State's Attorney Tracey] Kelley said McAlexander has committed a crime and must be held accountable. McAlexander's next court appearance is a June 4 arraignment on aggravated assault charges. She remains free on a $50,000 bond. [Full article here]

EARLIER ARTICLES: PSYCHOLOGIST CLEARS DENVER OFFICER TO LEAVE JAIL
9NEWS
posted by: Jeffrey Wolf written by: Kyle Clark
Apr 1, 2009
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - A Denver Police officer accused of shooting at other officers during a suicidal episode is not dangerous, according to a psychologist. Thirty-one-year-old Officer Kachina McAlexander of Aurora, a 10-year Denver Police veteran, is on unpaid leave from her job... charged with three counts of attempted second-degree murder and three alternate counts of aggravated assault. Authorities say Highway Patrol Trooper Todd Albertson and Custer County deputies Frank Kistler and Derek Booker found McAlexander with a gun in her hand and she fired several times at them. No one was hit... The psychologist, Dr. Dewey Ertz, "did not believe she was an imminent danger to herself or others," said state's attorney Tracey Kelley. If McAlexander posts bond, said Kelley, she must sign extradition papers ensuring she can be brought back to South Dakota for trial. The conditions of the bond also require McAlexander to maintain contact with mental health professionals and avoid alcohol and weapons... According to the Denver Post, McAlexander faced weapons charges in 2006 after firing at a television and at the walls of her home in Adams County. Like last week's incident, McAlexander was reportedly suicidal at the time. A judge acquitted McAlexander of the charges and an appeal by prosecutors was not successful. A spokesperson for the Adams County District Attorney would not provide information on the case to 9NEWS saying the case information is sealed. Denver Police are processing a request by 9NEWS to review McAlexander's disciplinary file... According to the affidavit, McAlexander told investigators she realized the men outside her hotel room were law enforcement officers before she started shooting... In addition to her police work, McAlexander, who lives in Aurora, sells real estate in the Denver metro area. Sterling Real Estate Group managing broker Rich Klapt said McAlexander has worked for the company as an independent contractor for several years. [Full article here]

FAMILY: DENVER OFFICER INNOCENT OF ATTEMPTED MURDER 9news
posted by: Jeffrey Wolf written by: Kyle Clark
Apr 4, 2009
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Kachina McAlexander has posted bond and left a South Dakota jail where she was being held after a shootout with local deputies. Authorities say McAlexander, a 10-year Denver Police veteran, shot at other officers who came to a motel in Custer on March 24 responding to a report that McAlexander might be suicidal. McAlexander's family offered their first public comments in the form of a telephone answering machine message Friday. "She's doing pretty good. She's in good spirits," McAlexander's mother says on the recording. "She wanted me to just let you guys know that she is innocent and she will get through and don't worry"... [Full article here]

[GA] Recently resigned Sheriff's Investigator Cannon arrested on stalking sheriff's dept. ex-wife, and other charges

...HE RESIGNED IN FEBRUARY OF THIS YEAR. "HE RESIGNED AFTER AN INTERNAL AFFAIRS INVESTIGATION INTO A HARASSMENT COMPLAINT FILED BY HIS EX-WIFE [WHO ALSO WORKED AT THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE]... CANNON IS NO STRANGER TO MEDIA ATTENTION. IN 2000, CANNON'S KILLING OF A NEIGHBOR'S DOG WHILE EMPLOYED AS A GAINESVILLE POLICE OFFICER DREW NATIONAL ATTENTION...

FORMER POLICE OFFICER ACCUSED OF STALKING
By Matt Aiken
April 29, 2009
[Excerpts] A former Dawson County Sheriff's Office deputy found himself on the opposite end of the law last Friday afternoon when he was arrested in Murrayville on charges of aggravated stalking, computer invasion of privacy and impersonation of an officer. Kenneth Cannon, 40, reportedly acted as though he was a Georgia State Patrol trooper last month, and violated a temporary protection order in the process, when he allegedly attempted to run a computer check on his ex-wife's tag number... Prior to his arrest, local deputies had received several unconfirmed reports throughout the month of March that Cannon had attempted to contact his ex-wife, a Lumpkin County resident, on several occasions despite a court-issued protective order. Last Friday, Cannon's arrest caused a minor stir in Murrayville as Lanier Elementary School was placed on lock-down while the apprehension occurred in the nearby parking lot... [Full article here]
FORMER SHERIFF'S INVESTIGATOR FACES STALKING RELATED CHARGES
Dawson Advertiser
by Matt Aiken
April 28, 2009
[Excerpts] ...Cannon is a former United States Marine and a veteran law enforcement official who worked at the Dawson County Sheriff's Office from January 2006 until he resigned in February of this year. "He resigned after an internal affairs investigation into a harassment complaint filed by his ex-wife [who also worked at the sheriff's office], said Dawson County Sheriff's Lt. Tony Wooten. "At the time she was still his wife," Wooten added. "They were going through a divorce. She still works here." "He was an investigator in the end [of his employment with the Dawson County Sheriff's Office]," Wooten said. "He started in the jail, worked his way through patrol and into investigations"... [Full article here]

FORMER LAWMAN CHARGED WITH STALKING EX-WIFE
Dawson News
By Michele Hester Michele@dawsonnews.com
April 29, 2009
A former Dawson County sheriff's investigator remained in custody Tuesday, four days after he was arrested on charges of stalking his ex-wife. Kenneth Cannon, who resigned from the department in February, was being held without bond in Lumpkin County Jail pending a first appearance hearing in Magistrate Court... All three charges are felonies... "He called the Banks County Communications Center to run her tag number from his cell phone from a location in Lumpkin County"... The investigation began after his wife, who had begun divorce proceedings, filed a workplace harassment complaint against him... While on paid administrative leave, Cannon continued to make attempts to contact the woman at work, violating the protective order she had against him... Cannon is no stranger to media attention. In 2000, Cannon's killing of a neighbor's dog while employed as a Gainesville police officer drew national attention. According to court records, Cannon shot a neighbor's German shepherd with an assault rifle 10 days after the dog attacked one of his children. A jury later acquitted him on a charge of cruelty to animals... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence law enforcement cop-on-cop georgia]

[PA] Detective Muhammad beat and pistol-whipped his bride-to-be

...WHEN AUTHORITIES ARRIVED, THEY FOUND A WOMAN WHO APPEARED TO HAVE BEEN SLAPPED, PUNCHED, AND HIT WITH A HANDGUN... MUHAMMAD STRUCK HIS FIANCEE IN THE FACE WITH A HANDGUN REPEATEDLY...

OFFICER ARRESTED FOR ASSAULTING FIANCEE

abclocal.go.com
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
A Philadelphia Police officer is charged in the alleged assault of his fiancee. On Tuesday night at around 10:00 p.m., Philadelphia Police were called to the 500 block of Waterview Lane for a report of a domestic dispute. When authorities arrived, they found a woman who appeared to have been slapped, punched, and hit with a handgun. She told police that her fiance was the one who beat her and then he fled the scene. The woman was transported to Frankford-Torresdale Hospital. The police were able to track down the fiance on I-95 in the area of Washington Avenue. The fiance is identified as Talib Muhammad. Muhammad is a 13-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Narcotics Unit. He was found in possession of two handguns. Muhammad was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, and possessing an instrument of crime in the alleged domestic assault. [LINK]

PHILLY COP CHARGED WITH BEATING FIANCEE
philly.com
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
A veteran Philadelphia police officer was arrested last night after he allegedly beat his fiance with a handgun during a domestic dispute. Police were called to Waterview Lane near Woodhaven Road in Northeast Philadelphia shortly after 10 p.m., when an argument between the cop, Talib Muhammad, and his 47-year-old fiancee turned violent, said police spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore. Muhammad struck his fiancee in the face with a handgun repeatedly and then fled, Vanore said. The victim was treated at Frankford-Torresdale Hospital for a laceration over her left eye. Police eventually caught up with Muhammad, 44, on I-95 near Washington Avenue. He was carrying two handguns, although it was unclear if the weapons were police-issued. Vanore said Muhammad, a 13-year veteran assigned to the narcotics field unit, was charged with aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person and possessing an instrument of crime. He will be suspended from the force for 30 days with the intent to dismiss, Vanore said. [LINK]

TALIB MUHAMMAD
DETECTIVE
http://www.phila.gov/phone/searchresult.asp?pn=22&txtSearch=vine

[NJ] Defense seeks 5 year sentence for ex Sgt. Vanaman's murder of wife Barbara

Defense wants 5 years for Vanaman
Vineland Daily Journal
By Joseph P. Smith
April 29, 2009
BRIDGETON -- Attorneys for Robert E. Vanaman are asking the former Millville police sergeant serve no more than five years in prison on a manslaughter charge for killing his wife three years ago. They also are seeking a consecutive probation term -- instead of up to another 18 months in prison -- for evidence tampering... Defense attorneys Joseph O'Neill and Charles Coant made their request in an April 20 letter brief to county Superior Court Judge Martin Herman. Herman will sentence Vanaman on Friday. He faces up to 11 1/2 years in prison under a March 30 plea deal in which the 40-year-old Millville resident admitted to shooting his wife, Barbara Vanaman, twice during a heated argument about their impending separation. He also told the court he used a broken knife to scratch himself in an attempt to make it look like the victim attacked him... [READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE]

Law enforcement blogs compiled by PoliceOne.com

http://www.policeone.com/law-enforcement-blogs

[NC] Deputy Brian Viercinski arrested for domestic violence

DEPUTY FIRED; CHARGED WITH CRIMINAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
fcunningham@wspa.com
By Fred Cunningham
Published: April 27, 2009

A Greenville County Sheriff’s Deputy was arrested on a criminal domestic violence charged and fired from his job after a Sunday night incident.

Deputy Brian Viercinski was terminated by Sheriff Steve Loftis after his office was notified of the arrest by Greenville Police according to the Sheriff’s Office.

We’re told the incident happened between the former deputy and his girlfriend at their home at 620 Halton Road. A Greenville Police report says Viercinski and the woman got into an argument and he tackled her into a couch as he tried to retrieve his cell phone and left the residence.

The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office says Viercinski was hired on January 12 of this year and was assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division. He was in the process of completing the field training program.

[CA] After Justice for Janet Kovacich


..."I think ultimately we were pleased to be able to bring to peace the spirit of a young 27-year-old mother whose life and hopes and love for her children were extinguished by her husband"...

WHAT WOULD AUBURN POLICE LIKE TO SAY TO PAUL KOVACICH?
Chief Valerie Harris answers questions related to 26-year investigation
Auburn Journal
4/29/09
[EXCERPTS] A 26-year investigation into the disappearance of a missing mother of two came to end last week. A Placer County judge sentenced former Placer Sheriff Sgt. Paul Kovacich Jr. to 27 years to life in prison for murdering his wife, Janet Kovacich, on Sept. 8, 1982. An appeal is reportedly pending, and Paul Kovacich's now adult children are defending their father, saying he is innocent. Law enforcement, however, is reflecting on a case that plagued the community for years and say justice has finally been served. Below Auburn Police Chief Valerie Harris answers questions about what the verdict and sentence mean to the department and what they would say to Paul Kovacich... (4.) What was your reaction, and the reaction of the police department as a whole, to the verdict? - "A sense that all of the "teamwork" and efforts by the law enforcement community in this region and beyond brought justice to Janet. So many of us worked the case and never had the pleasure of meeting Janet Kovacich, yet we felt the time investigating the case allowed us to get a glimpse of what a wonderful person she was. Many felt we were able to give a bit of Janet's memory back to her family."... (11.) Anything you would like to say to Paul Kovacich Jr.? - "I would ask that he consider the request from Janet's brother, Gary Gregoire, last week in court. Mr. Gregoire asked Mr. Kovacich to reveal where he put Janet. This will allow family to put Janet in her final resting place and hopefully bring some additional closure and relief from the pain they have suffered for so long. It is just that Mr. Kovacich give Janet back to all of those people that loved her so much." [Full article here]

PARENTS DIE NEVER KNOWING JUSTICE FOR JANET KOVACICH'S DEATH
Brother speaks on behalf of his family
Auburn Journal
By Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
4/26/09
[EXCERPTS] When Jean Gregoire was on her deathbed, one of the last requests she asked of her son was to never forget his sister, Janet Kovacich, and her children. Jean Gregoire and her deceased husband, Leo, had lived the last 19-plus years of their lives searching for their long-lost daughter and died never knowing what happened to her... They died never knowing two of their grandchildren outside of the quick glimpses they would catch watching them walk out of school or driving by their house. And they died never seeing their daughter's killer made to answer for his crime. "The day Janet went missing, my parents' lives basically went on hold and they never recovered," said Gary Gregoire, Jean and Leo Gregoire's only son and Janet Kovacich's only brother. "For my dad, it was like life didn't mean as much to him after that. He just kind of went into a shell"... Gary Gregoire's voice quavered at times with emotion as he described for the Journal the past 26 years of his family's life... He said his mother blamed herself... The struggle to find Janet Kovacich and connect with her two children dominated Jean and Leo Gregoire's life until they died... Gary Gregoire, who said tears streamed from his eyes when he heard of Paul Kovacich's guilty verdict, speculated that if his parents were alive today, they wouldn't have much to say to the convicted man. Instead, they would continue to try to talk to their grandchildren... He said he hopes John and Kristi Kovacich - who were not allowed inside the courtroom during the trial - will review the evidence and transcripts and draw their own conclusion about what happened to their mother, who loved them dearly. He said he will always be there for them... [Full article here]

DESPITE CHALLENGES, LAW ENFORCEMENT NEVER FORGOT JANET KOVACICH Old, new police chief say proud of way investigation handled
Auburn Journal
By Jenifer Gee
4/29/09
[EXCERPTS] Former Auburn Police Chief Nick Willick doesn't remember ever meeting Janet Kovacich but he spent a significant part of his law-enforcement career looking for her. The mother of two disappeared Sept. 8, 1982, and it would take 26 years before a jury convicted her husband, Paul Kovacich Jr., of her murder. "I'm very glad the case finally went to the people and that there was justice," Willick said. "This particular case was probably worked on more than any other case that the Auburn Police Department was involved in"... It wasn't until September 2006, after Willick had retired, that Paul Kovacich was officially named a suspect in the case. It was then that a grand jury indictment him for Janet Kovacich's murder... He admitted that it was "very frustrating" when some witnesses passed away over time... Willick credited many people with helping bring a 26-year-old cold case to a true close. "There have been a number of cases over the years you never forget and this is one of those," Willick said. "For not just myself but for anybody involved in the investigation of the case, it never left their minds. They always felt the need to look at this again. That was the thing I'm probably most proud of. All of the people involved in the investigation, they didn't forget" [Full article here]

'YOU DON'T HEAR OF MANY CASES THIS AGE' District Attorney's Office reflects on Kovacich sentence, verdict
Auburn Journal
By Jenifer Gee
4/28/09
[EXCERPTS] ...[District Attorney Brad] Fenocchio said the range of time between when the mother, Janet Kovacich, disappeared to when the case went to trial, made it more "complicated"... During Paul Kovacich's sentencing hearing Friday, his and Janet Kovacich's children, John and Kristi, spoke in support of their father, the defendant. John and Kristi Kovacich, now 32 and 33, said they were angered to watch an innocent man go to jail and that they've lost faith in the justice system. They strongly criticized the investigation and prosecution of the case. Suzanne Gazzaniga and fellow prosecutor on the case Dave Tellman said they invite John and Kristi Kovacich to meet with their office and review any evidence presented during the trial. Fenocchio said John and Kristi's view was subjective. "I understand and appreciate the sensitivity that the children have to this verdict and to this sentence, but they are very subjective in their review of everything that led to this conviction," Fenocchio said. "The jury, on the other hand, was objective and they made a decision based upon rather than emotion, but based upon logic and based upon the law." When asked to sum up in one word how she felt about the end of the case, Gazzaniga answered, "justice... I think ultimately we were pleased to be able to bring to peace the spirit of a young 27-year-old mother whose life and hopes and love for her children were extinguished by her husband" [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence law enforcement fatality fatalities murder CALIFORNIA CHILDREN PRISON]

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

[NJ] Impact statements before sentencing of ex-Police Sgt. Vanaman for killing Barbara

[Ex-Millville Police Sgt.] Robert Vanaman, 40, who admitted last month fatally shooting his 37-year-old wife Barbara Vanaman then attempting to cover up the shooting, faces up to 12 years and two months in prison when he is sentenced Friday... On May 11, 2006, the night of the incident, Robert and Barbara Vanaman planned to tell their two children that they were splitting up... Dylan Vanaman, an 11th grade Millville High School student, said that his father "has more love and compassion than anyone else I know. Just look at him. How can you tell me he doesn't feel bad for what happened?"...

EXCERPTS FROM RECENT NEWS:

Lawyer will seek break for Vanaman
The Daily Journal
By Tim Zatzariny Jr.
April 27, 2009
[Excerpts] When Robert Vanaman appears in Superior Court here this morning for the first part of his sentencing in the fatal shooting of his wife, his attorneys will ask for leniency for the former Millville police sergeant. They're expected to tell Superior Court Judge Martin A. Herman, who plans to impose the sentence Friday, there were elements of self-defense when Vanaman gunned down 37-year-old Barbara Elke Vanaman inside the kitchen of their Millville home on May 11, 2006... [Full article here]

Vanaman hearing starts on `victim impact' phase
The Daily Journal
By Joseph P. Smith
April 27, 2009
[Excerpts] ...The first witnesses to talk are from Barbara Vanaman's family and friends. Daniel Locke, her 18-year-old nephew, was first up. He said he missed outings with aunt. "Also, since Aunt Barb died, I hardly even get to see my cousins," Locke said, referring to her sons Dillon and Dean Vanaman... Carmen Spinnato read a letter from his wife Elke, who he said was Barbara's godmother and aunt. "I spoke to Barb that day at work and she was telling me how happy she was," Spinnato read. "She told me that her and Rob were going to try to compromise for the sake of the boys," he continued. The letter continued that Robert Vanaman had not shown much interest in his children until after the killing... [Full article here]

Judge prepares to hear from friends and family of Robert Vanaman - with audio
The News of Cumberland County
by Matt Dunn
Monday April 27, 2009, 1:21 PM
[Excerpts] Judgment day has arrived for Robert Vanaman. A sentencing hearing began this morning in Superior Court in Cumberland County for Vanaman, a 40-year-old former Millville police sergeant who pleaded guilty last month to second-degree manslaughter in connection with the May 11, 2006, shooting death of his 37-year-old wife, Barbara Vanaman. Seated on one side of the courtroom this morning were friends and family of Barbara Vanaman and, on the opposite side, people close to Robert Vanaman... Many of Barbara Vanaman's friends and family this morning asked for Herman to show "no mercy" to Vanaman, prompting the judge to ask Barbara Vanaman's sister, Cynthia Locke, whether the family was satisfied with the plea agreement. Locke said that the plea deal brought mixed emotions. Robert Vanaman faces up to 11 years and two months in prison as a result of his plea deal, although Herman can choose not to accept the plea if he wishes. "Some of us felt that we should not have accepted the plea," she said. In the end, the family felt it was the right decision even if it brought no satisfaction to them. "There's no winners here. There hasn't been a winner since the day (Robert Vanaman) killed my sister. We've all lost," Locke said... [Full article here]

Relatives of shooting victim speak before sentencing of former Millville cop Robert Vanaman
by The News of Cumberland County
Monday April 27, 2009, 11:34 AM
[Excerpts] ...About 20 friends and relatives of Barbara Vanaman have spoken so far this morning. Most urged Superior Court Judge Martin Herman to impose the maximum penalty. Vanaman faces a maximum of 11 years and two months in prison under the plea deal. Friends and family of Barbara Vanaman testified that she was a positive and caring person, and described her husband as selfish and a man who abused his role as a police officer... “It makes me sick that (Robert Vanaman) would only get 11 years in prison. He should be sentenced to 20 years to life,” said Otley Locke, brother-in-law of Barbara Vanaman and a state corrections officer [Full article here]

Tears flow on both sides at Vanaman sentencing
sjnewsco
By MATT DUNN
mdunn@sjnewsco.com
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
[Excerpts] For the first time since his initial court appearance in 2006, former Millville police Sgt. Robert Vanaman broke down in court Monday. The 40-year-old man wept openly as his 17-year-old son Dylan pleaded with Superior Court Judge Martin Herman to show leniency for his father, in a hearing to help the judge decide Vanaman's sentence to be handed down Friday. Dylan Vanaman, an 11th grade Millville High School student, said that his father "has more love and compassion than anyone else I know. Just look at him. How can you tell me he doesn't feel bad for what happened?" he said to Herman... With photos of Barbara Vanaman prominently displayed in the center of the courtroom, friends and family of the Millville woman urged the court to sentence Robert Vanaman to the maximum sentence under his plea agreement - 11 years and two months in state prison. The culmination of witnesses testifying on behalf of Barbara Vanaman was her mother and [stepfather]. John Shaffer, Barbara Vanaman's [stepfather], lamented the loss of Barbara, but said it was not only his daughter-in-law whom he lost in her death. "On May 11, 2006, I lost a big part of my wife as well," he said of his wife Karen... Herman can reject the plea agreement if he chooses, and asked the family whether they were satisfied with the plea... Barbara Vanaman's sister, Cynthia Locke, said her feelings were mixed about the plea. "There's no win here," she said of the potential outcome of Robert Vanaman's case. "There hasn't been a win since the day (Robert Vanaman) killed my sister. We've all lost. There's no win. If he would have gone to trial and been found guilty, he would have appealed it, and we'd be doing this over and over"... The tears continued as Robert Vanaman's father and mother testified on his behalf. "There's been a lot of things said about my son," said Warren Vanaman, Robert Vanaman's father. "He was an excellent police officer for 15 years. He's not the monster he's been made out to be. He loves his sons"... [Full article here]


Robert Vanaman breaks down at manslaughter sentencing hearing
by Matt Dunn, The News of Cumberland County
Monday April 27, 2009, 1:43 PM
[Excerpts] Former Millville police Sgt. Robert Vanaman broke down in tears this afternoon as his 17-year-old son Dylan pleaded with the court to show leniency for his father... "Just look at him. How can you tell me he doesn't feel bad for what happened... No one can take the place of my mother but no one can take the place of my dad either... I'll miss my dad so much during the duration of his sentence. In my mind, not because of what I heard, but in my mind, I'll always believe it was self-defense"... Family and friends of Robert Vanaman gave statements this afternoon in an attempt to convince the court to show lieniency to Vanaman. Most described him as a caring and devoted father, urging Herman not to break up him as his sons any longer than neccessary. Some lashed out at Barbara Vanaman, but many stuck to defending Robert Vanaman... [Full article here]

Prosecutor and defense counsel argue factors in Robert Vanaman's sentencing
The News of Cumberland County
by Matt Dunn
Monday April 27, 2009, 3:15 PM
[Excerpts] First Assistant Prosecutor Ken Pagliughi argued this afternoon that former Millville police Sgt. Robert Vanaman should receive the maximum sentence permitable under his plea agreement on charges of manslaughter and tampering with evidence. Vanaman's attorney argued for a sentence less than the maximum. "A fair sentence would be the minimum sentence that the law provides," said Vineland attorney Joseph O'Neill. Robert Vanaman, 40, who admitted last month fatally shooting his 37-year-old wife Barbara Vanaman then attempting to cover up the shooting, faces up to 12 years and two months in prison when he is sentenced Friday. A sentencing hearing took place today to allow Superior Court Judge Martin Herman sufficient time to determine the length of Robert Vanaman's sentence. Vanaman could have faced up to life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder, for which he was charged. Pagliughi asked Herman to consider the circumstances of the shooting, the likelihood that Vanaman will commit future acts of domestic violence and the need to deter criminal behavior as reasons for a maximum sentence of 12 years in prison - 10 years for manslaughter and two for tampering with evidence. He explained, after Vanaman took the plea, Pagliughi said that the defendant made admissions which showed that he provoked the dispute which led to his wife's shooting. He said Robert Vanaman made disparaging comments about his wife's deceased father and she became enraged... Pagliughi also said that Robert Vanaman had a history of domestic violence with Barbara Vanaman prior to the shooting... The couple were on the verge of divorce prior to the shooting. On May 11, 2006, the night of the incident, Robert and Barbara Vanaman planned to tell their two children that they were splitting up... Herman will decide Friday on Robert Vanaman's sentence. "No matter what I decide in this case, someone's going to be unhappy," the judge said, prior to adjouring for the day. "That's the role I took in this case. It's part of our system. I'm going to do what's fair and right in this case." [Full article here]

Barbara Vanaman's parents testify
The Daily Journal
By Joseph P. Smith
April 27, 2009
[Excerpts] ...John Shaffer, Barbara's stepfather, was the 20th witness of the morning. "I remember vividly the first day we viewed Barb's body," he said. "It was as if someone tore a piece fromm my chest."... According to family, Dylan Vanaman, the elder sons of Barbara, sides with his father and has been distant with his mother's family. His brother Dean visits the family but is in emotional distress. Shaffer said he was Dylan's "hero" but the teenager now thinks his dad is the hero... Vanaman has "tarnished every memory... To him, winning is what it's all about"... Karin Shaffer recalled her grandson Dylan walking in the house and told her his mother had stabbed his father, "I hope she goes to Hell." he said to her... [Full article here]

Murder victim's boyfriend testifies, says Barb Vanaman was finally happy
The Daily Journal
By Joseph P. Smith
April 27, 2009
[Excerpts] ...Joel Dugan, the victim's boyfriend, was seeing Barbara Vanaman while she still was married. The day she was shot to death in her kitchen, witnesses said today, she was happy and telling her husband she was leaving to be with Dugan. Dugan himself did not appear in court but his letter was ready by another friend, Joe Klueg. Dugan's letter said Barbara Vanaman had gone through life trying to find people to love her but never feeling loved... Dugan said his "solace" was knowing he had made her happy...Johanna Klueg also said she believes "he laid in wait" for his wife, saying he seldom had his weapon with him and had come home early... "Dylan and Dean _ it was truly your mother who was selfless," she said... [Full article here]

Vanaman's son asks for mercy
The Daily Journal
By Joseph P. Smith
April 28, 2009
[Excerpts] Dylan Vanaman's name came up in testimony about as often as his father's did... When the 17-year-old took his turn to speak, he spoke at length of his father as a kind, hard-working parent and "best friend... He's my safe environment... He makes me feel safe... He has more true love and compassion for me than anybody else"... Dylan Vanaman said he wished his father had not taken the plea bargain. "But I know why he took it," he said. "He wants to see me and Dean again"... [Full article here]

Vanaman suppporters describe forgiving husband, good father
The Daily Journal
By Joseph P. Smith
April 27, 2009
[Excerpts] The teenage son of murder defendant Robert E. Vanaman today asked for a minimum prison sentence for his father... "He loved her with all his heart... Can anybody tell me he doesn't feel bad about what happened?" the boy said. "He's my safe environment." The first witness of the afternoon was Melissa Sooy, an English teacher in the Millville School District who formerly had Dillon Vanaman in her class. Sooy called the youth an "exceptional student" and a "straight A student. She also said that his father was the parent who almost always came into contact with teachers. "He was the very hands on parent" Sooy said... [Full article here]

Attorneys close Vanaman hearing arguing mitigation, aggravating factors
The Daily Journal
By JOSEPH P. SMITH
April 27, 2009
[Excerpts] ...With witnesses exhausted, attorneys turned to arguing over how the defendant fitted into state sentencing criteria. The criteria deal with "aggravating" and "mitigating" factors... The prosecutor also said the victim had three layers of clothes on, but suffered skin burns because Vanaman pressed the muzzle of his service handgun on her chest when he fired twice... He said the first officer on the scene, after handcuffing Robert Vanaman, found Barbara Vanaman still had a pulse. Her husband had done nothing to try to save her life... [Full article here]

Pagliughi has second thoughts
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
By MATT DUNN
mdunn@sjnewsco.com
[Excerpts] ...Robert Vanaman's post plea deal statement, released Monday, has caused First Assistant Prosecutor Ken Pagliughi to give second thoughts to the plea deal. "When I gave him the plea deal, I had no idea what Robert Vanaman was going to say in his pre-sentence interview," the first assistant prosecutor said in court Monday. "Now that I have this statement, I have a better understanding of Robert Vanaman's state of mind prior to the shooting"... According to Pagliughi, Robert Vanaman told a probation officer, after agreeing to a plea deal, that on May 11, 2006, he knew his wife was going to leave him for good. "He was not happy that she was going to leave him with the house and the kids and all the responsibilities," Pagliughi said. "He decided to throw a monkey wrench into her plans by forcing her into a position where she would have to stay at the house and take care of the sons." Friends and family of Barbara Vanaman testified Monday that the Millville woman planned to begin a new life with her boyfriend... "(Robert) told her that she couldn't go to Ocean City and be a whore all summer while he took care of the sons. The argument escalated until Robert spoke of Barbara Vanaman's father, whom she idolized," Pagliughi said. "Barbara just wanted to go to Ocean City, meet the love of her life, get a bottle of wine and start her new life. (Robert Vanaman) continued to escalate the argument." Pagliughi said Robert Vanaman told Barbara Vanaman that her father, who was deceased, "would be proud of what a whore she has become." That's when the situation grew physical, Robert Vanaman claimed... Pagliughi said the fact that Robert Vanaman escalated the argument should be considered in his sentencing. Superior Court Judge Martin Herman responded that "if you now think it's murder, you shouldn't have made a plea agreement"... After court, Pagliughi told the family of Barbara Vanaman that if he knew then what he knows now about Robert Vanaman's state of mind, he does not know if he would have felt the same about offering the plea deal... [Full article here]

Complete remarks of Judge Martin A. Herman
The Daily Journal
April 28, 2009
[Excerpt] I want to thank you, ladies and genlemen, for coming here today, to paritcipate in what I believe we all know will be a most difficult day. Before we begin, I believe it is most essential, most appropriate that you understand--that all our county citizens understand--those core principles, which must guide me as a judge, as I endeavor to carefully listen to what you have to say, and to dutifully inquire and probe, as may be necessary, to aid me in reaching a decision that protects and advances the fair administration of justice... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence law enforcement fatality fatalities murder new jersey children]

[Russia] Police Chief kills 3, wounds several after fight with his wfe & father-in-law

An off-duty Russian police officer killed at least three people in a birthday shooting spree after a row with his family but claims he cannot remember anything... Russian news agencies said six or seven people were wounded and some were in hospital in critical condition...



Russian President Fires Moscow Police Chief After Shooting Kills 3
NASDAQ
Apr 28 2009
[Excerpts] MOSCOW (AFP)--Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sacked Moscow's police chief Tuesday, a Kremlin spokeswoman said, after a police major opened fire into a crowd, killing three at a supermarket. Kremlin spokeswoman Natalia Timakova was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying Medvedev fired veteran chief Vladimir Pronin. The Russian president also suspended several senior officers in the precinct where the shooting took place, in a move to quell public outrage over the gunfire spree Monday that left three dead and six wounded. "Someone must, without doubt, bare full responsibility for the tragic state of the management the city's police," an identified Kremlin source told news agency Interfax... [Full article here]

Off-duty police chief kills three
United Press International
[Excerpts] MOSCOW, April 27 (UPI) -- An off-duty police chief allegedly killed three people and injured six others Monday in a supermarket shooting in Moscow, police said. The killings may have been sparked by a family argument... Denis Yevsyukov, chief of police in Moscow's southern district, was arrested after allegedly killing the driver of the car who dropped him at the store, a female cashier and a man inside the store... "Yevsyukov had a major row with his wife before the incident," a police official said, adding Yevsyukov then left his house and argued with the driver before killing him and turning his gun on the people in the supermarket. Yevsyukov, who was drinking before the attack, was taken to a psychiatric facility for examination, Markin said. [Full article here]



Russian officer kills 3 in birthday shooting
Updated 15.14 Tue Apr 28 2009
[Excerpts] An off-duty Russian police officer killed at least three people in a birthday shooting spree after a row with his family but claims he cannot remember anything. Major Denis Yevsyukov was caught on CCTV at a Moscow supermarket loading a gun and then opening fire on customers coming through the door. Prosecutor Vladimir Markin said: "According to the preliminary information, on the night of April 26 Yevsyukov was celebrating his birthday at one of the cafes in the capital. "There he quarreled with his wife. On his return home he put on his police jacket on top of the civilian clothes and left..." A spokeswoman for Russia's Prosecutor-General said at least three people were killed in the shooting. Russian news agencies said six or seven people were wounded and some were in hospital in critical condition. [Full article here]

Начальник ОВД застрелил 3 и ранил 6 человек

[ME] There were 4 witnesses, but Chief Poulin pleads not guilty to dv assault of Elaine

Former Milo Police Chief Michael Poulin has pleaded not guilty to assault in connection with an alleged altercation he had last month with his wife...

PREVIOUS POST:
[ME] Police Chief Poulin's domestic violence arrest. Where's the victim? Is she okay? -
Milo Police ChiefMichael "Mike" Poulin was arrested by Piscataquis County Sheriff's Deputies friday night on a domestic assault charge, posted bail the same night, walked out, drove away, and is on paid leave during the investigation...

EX-MILO CHIEF PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO ASSAULT
Bangor Daily News
By Diana Bowley dianabdn@myfairpoint.net
4/28/09
[Excerpts] DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — Former Milo Police Chief Michael Poulin has pleaded not guilty to assault in connection with an alleged altercation he had last month with his wife... Poulin, who resigned as chief earlier this month, allegedly grabbed his wife, Elaine Poulin, by the arms and pinned her against a wall... The alleged assault occurred shortly after 7 p.m. March 20 when Michael Poulin, accompanied by the couple’s son Chris Poulin, 25, came into the cafe, where an argument erupted over marital problems... The cafe had closed for the day when the in-cident occurred, but two Milo police officers and a friend of Elaine Poulin's were inside the cafe... After the incident, town officials suspended Poulin with pay pending the outcome of the continuing investigation. Poulin’s resignation came just days after Milo selectmen voted to take disciplinary action against him...
[Maine]

Sunday, April 26, 2009

[WA] Learn from Tacoma's tragedy. The case that inspired me to track police domestic violence

Crystal DeEtte Judson Brame
and her husband,
Tacoma Police Chief David Brame

On April 26th, 2003, it came out in our local paper that the city would NOT investigate the domestic violence accusations made against our Tacoma Police Chief David Brame by his wife Crystal.

By the afternoon of the same day, both of them were fatally shot in a parking lot with their very young children running to them.

CITY WON'T INVESTIGATE POLICE CHIEF
The News Tribune
Stacey Mulick
April 26th, 2003
[EXCERPTS] Tacoma city officials will not investigate allegations of abuse raised in Tacoma Police Chief David A. Brame's now public divorce. Brame's wife, Crystal, made the accusations in a declaration filed as part of the divorce, which she started in February after more than 11 years of marriage... Friday, the couple's allegations against each other were publicized by a Seattle newspaper, television and radio stations. Asked about Brame, City Manager Ray Corpuz said, "I'm not interested in investigating any civil proceedings that he is going though at this time... There haven't been any discussions (about an investigation) or complaints from within the department." Mayor Bill Baarsma said he did not want to comment on Brame's personal life, but added, "The professional end of Dave's relationship with the city has been absolutely stellar"... In a declaration filed March 26, Crystal Brame alleged her husband pointed his gun at her and said, "Accidents happen." She also claimed he choked her and threatened to kill her at their Gig Harbor home. In a declaration filed in April, Brame denied he pointed his gun at his wife, choked her or threatened her...

The next day:

A POLICE CHIEF'S INCOMPREHENSIBLE, BEWILDERING CRIME

The News Tribune
April 27th, 2003
"Shock" hardly begins to express our reaction to David Brame's shooting of his wife, Crystal, and his own suicide Saturday afternoon. Almost anyone who knew the Tacoma police chief professionally - and that includes the editorial board of The News Tribune - would have, before Saturday, vouched for his character, his devotion to police work and his concern for the city he served. Brame exuded competence. He was good at dealing with people... No one then could have imagined Saturday's horrifying sequel, when Brame shot his wife and then himself in the parking lot of a Gig Harbor strip mall - with their children at the scene... The waste of life, the trauma to their children, the grief of their loved ones, are almost too terrible to contemplate...


=================================

BEFORE THE SHOOTING Tacoma did not have an officer-involved domestic violence policy - so city officials were winging it, the human resources department and city attorneys were trying to cover their own butts and the chief's at the same time. Police brass had been trying to cover for the chief's behaviors prior to the shooting, and because he was a superior, many subordinate personnel made decisions that would be an embarrassment to the city when the investigations later brought all their activities and discretionary choices to light.

IN THE MEANTIME NO ONE FROM THE CITY OR THE POLICE DEPARTMENT OFFERED CRYSTAL SAFETY OR OPTIONS. NO ONE CALLED TO ASK HOW SHE WAS OR TO OFFER HER A SAFE PLACE. SHE WAS INCIDENTAL TO HIS MIGHTY POSITION.

Every law enforcement agency needs to have a specific and effective officer-involved domestic violence policy IN PLACE BEFORE tragedy hits.

Tacoma has one now. And now every law enforcement agency in the State of Washington is required to have a specific policy in place.

Two lives were lost that a policy could have possibly saved, Tacoma was cast into a parade of both multi-million dollar lawsuits and multi-agency investigations. A STUPID choice to not investigate turned into a scandal that was circulated around the WORLD.

Why would an agency resist having clear protocol?



Every area should have a safe line for victims of police and public official domestic violence to call.

Tacoma still doesn't have one.
No city, county, or area of the world does.

It's a gaping omission.

Too often everyone runs to the officer to see him through, and no one, including local domestic violence services, help the victim - It's too risky, "too political," and often seen as a threat to their county and city funding. They don't reach out to these victims. Often they back away. One local shelter told one of our officer-involved victims that they were not "equipped" for her kind of case.

If you are a victim of officer-involved domestic violence though, don't give up. Contact me and I will do my best to put you in touch with someone to talk to. No one has the solutions but maybe some brainstorming with people who "GET IT" will help more than you can imagine.

I don't know if I've ever mentioned it on this blog before - but I was married to a Seattle police officer. Crystal's shooting cut me to the core. I knew the fear.

And if you ARE in fear, I want to share with you that Lori DeKleine, slain by her police officer husband, came to this blog and read stories here. She never contacted me.

She told her sister about this site but never reached out.

I'll always wonder...


[WA] "THE TRUTH," according to the family of Tacoma's murder-suicide police chief

Once a year, on April 26th, here in Tacoma Washington, we have come to know that there will be a short memorial blurb in our newspaper's obituary section - to our former police chief, David Brame, from his family. On this date in 2003 Tacoma Police Chief David Brame fatally shot his wife, Crystal DeEtte Judson Brame, in a Gig Harbor shopping center parking lot, just before shooting himself. Their children came running from their father's car to their mother's, screaming and crying, begging for strangers - any stranger - to help their mother,

whose body lay on the asphalt, her head in a growing puddle of blood and brain matter.

David's dark state of mind did not include caring what his children would see that day - and subsequently have to live with for the rest of their lives.
He did not think ahead to the pain of his own family members who love him.
He did not consider the police department personnel who looked to him for leadership, or of the city that would collapse for the next several years to come.

He did not consider the life of Crystal as something that belonged to her, or the hearts in her family that he would shatter, never to fully recover.

He thought, from that dark space he was in, of what he wanted to do. He set out to fulfill his terrifying threat to kill her. HE BOUND HER NAME TO HERS FOREVER with two bullets. He became in his mind the god of her fate and how she would be remembered. She had left him but he DETERMINED AND EXECUTED HIS DECISION THAT SHE WOULD NOT GET AWAY.

Crystal wanted to live.
She tried to live before AND AFTER the shooting. She had moved in with her parents, daydreamed out loud of one day being able to walk in the sun with their kids - without fear, and after the shooting - a direct contact Glock headshot - she lived for a week while her family sat by her bedside. She tried.

The memorial's text in our newspaper today, identical to last year's:

  • David Allen Brame 7/28/1958 - 4/26/2003 We will love you, miss you and positively believe in you forever, David. We know the truth. We haven't seen our grandchildren for six years. Your loving family. [Link]
  • View/Sign Guest Book

No one doubts that David Brame's family misses or loves him. We all know that they do. It is a pain that no one can imagine unless they have experienced it.

But it's the other part I need to address this year:


"...We know the truth. We haven't seen our grandchildren for six years..."

I wouldn't say anything about this - and I'd remain quiet like everyone else - except this published memorial is very likely going to continue every year to blame the victim, Crystal, for her own murder.

We all have hearts, and we all hurt for this family, but the toxic intent of continuing to publicly blame the murder victim year after year should stop.
So what is this "truth" they speak of?

Investigations on this murder-suicide were conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, The Washington State Patrol, The Pierce County Sheriff's Department, The Tacoma Police Department, The Gig Harbor Police department, and the Washington Association of Sheriff's and Police Chiefs. The State Troopers actually ran two investigations - one was criminal and the other administrative.

Whatever all of those law enforcement investigators and experts found, whatever the investigative reporters from three competing newspapers discovered, whatever the child psychologist determined, whatever the children's appointed guardian [ad litum] recommended, whatever Crystal's own psychologist, her family, or Crystal herself said - along with David Brame's own co-workers and the other victims of David's power-gone-wild said -
the chief's family is certain that
it's ALL lies.

It must be the most coordinated conspiracy of all time.
  • David Brame's admitted rape of a woman - with his gun on the table next to the bed,
  • the sex club he frequented with a clan of subordinate Tacoma officers - looking for people to (unsuccessfully) pressure his wife Crystal to have sex with,
  • the finding that he was ruling his department by intimidation and fear - with a photo of Al Paccino as the Godfather hanging on his office wall,
  • the systematic and long-term physical, verbal and psychological abuse of his wife,
  • the sexual harassment of another officer,
  • the failed psychological evaluations that should have barred the chief from ever becoming even a rookie,
  • and every other impropriety discovered during the intense and overlapping investigations
for David Brame's family - are ALL lies.

From what I've read from this family in the news, the center of this coven of conspiring liars is Crystal. They say it is Crystal who abused David physically and verbally, was unsafe to mother her own children, crazy, and who finally drove this "brilliant" man -
"an angel on earth" -
to commit the unthinkable.

The fact that Crystal is dead, for them does not appear to validate even one word of what Crystal tried to tell the world when she told many people that she feared for her life.

They publicly lament that they never see the kids, but I'm going to guess that
their own words
have a large part to play in that decision - and I will guess that they did not want to follow through with what they would have to do to fix that.

There's always a plan offered.
Classes, ongoing therapy, assessments and recommendations.

Here are news excerpts of "THE TRUTH"
in their own words:

Brame mourners show love, speak of good
The News Tribune
Karen Hucks
May 4th, 2003
[Excerpts] ..."Everyone can believe what they wish," Brame's sister Jane Brazell said. "But the Brame family knows
the truth
.
..
He was an angel on earth, and now he is an angel in heaven"...

David Brame reached limit of what he could tolerate
News Tribune
Beverly Brame
May 20th, 2003
[Excerpts] I am the proud mother of David Brame. Our family feels that the city of Tacoma, the Tacoma City Council, the city manager, the mayor of Tacoma and the Tacoma Police Department should be made aware that the real David Brame did not betray them. He deeply cared for each of you and was of the highest integrity, honesty and loyalty... There is an answer to each of the allegations that has been made against him... we must all remember that there is a limit to what any man can endure before he goes over the edge and his mind snaps... I hope his tormentors are happy now.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR FROM DUKE BRAME

News Tribune
Duke Brame
May 11th, 2003
[Excerpts] ...Now here we are in the midst of a massive media saturation with its sights set on my cousin's character and integrity. Those of you who are truly concerned need to know that this attack on David's character is completely wrong and unfounded... David Brame was an awesome human being whose mind snapped...

CRYSTAL KEPT HER FAMILY IN THE DARK
The News Tribune
Karen Hucks
June 26, 2003
[Excerpts] During the 13 years Crystal Brame spent with David Brame, her family saw signs of the Tacoma police chief's controlling nature, but never knew he was physically abusing her until she was ready to leave him... After years in what she said was an abusive, controlling marriage, David Brame started pressuring her to have sex with other people... David Brame fatally shot Crystal Brame and then killed himself, with their two children nearby, April 26... Beverly Brame, David Brame's mother, said Crystal Brame's accusations of violence and sex aren't true. "Oh, brother," she said. "He was a great kid and a great man. And they better stop taking it away from him, because it's not right. What we've not been able to understand is when her allegations came out, they (media) ran with it like it was gospel"... Beverly Brame said she has been kept from her two grandchildren because a psychologist and the children's court-appointed guardian [ad litum] said it would be too traumatic - and she doesn't have the money for a custody battle... Beverly Brame said David was the abused rather than the abuser...

[Bev Brame was to later win a lotto prize of $250,000 yet stopped their battle for rights to the children after the winnings.

Inside David Brame's police department

Favoritism, cruelty, intrigue tarnish 15-month reign
SEAN ROBINSON; The News Tribune
Septemeber 14th, 2003
[Excerpts] ...The accusations against him [Chief Brame] of death threats, choking and controlling behavior were lies, he said, part of his wife's unstable character... He said Crystal had punched him. He included pictures - taken by his mother, he said - of an ugly bruise on his arm, supposedly left by Crystal's small fist. Crystal and her family had expected the counterblows from David. He had boasted of his plan to her, she said. The bruise on his arm came from a dropped barbell. As it discolored, he told her he would blame her for it if she tried to leave him. He would tell the authorities she was crazy. They would believe him, he told her. He was the police chief. Today, Brame's father still insists Crystal's claims of abuse were false. "David never struck Crystal," says Eugene Brame, Sr. "During their entire marriage, he never struck her"...

(HOW would Eugene Brame know what never happened behind David and Crystal's closed doors?)

THE FAMILY OF DAVID BRAME SPEAKS OUT
The News Tribune
STACEY MULICK
November 2003
[Excerpts] ...The family has studied the police reports, read the media coverage, replayed the details in their minds. "We are not in denial about this tragedy," says Brame's 71-year-old mother, Bev. But they say the former Tacoma police chief is not the manipulative, abusive man he's been portrayed to be... The family's bitterness over the fallout of the shootings and the ugly things said about David Brame is immediately evident. The Brames deny their son scrutinized his wife's weight or kept her on such a tight budget she had to save her change... "We've lost their entire family," Gene Brame said. "We loved Crystal"... Family members say they realize others believe the Brames are lying to themselves about the allegations that David Brame tormented his wife behind closed doors... They don't believe David Brame could have manipulated them and lied about how he treated his wife for the past eight years...

EXPERTS: NO BRAME CHILDREN VISITS
The News Tribune
Karen Hucks
August 19th, 2003
[Excerpts] The late Tacoma Police Chief David Brame's parents want to visit his two children, but a psychologist and a court-appointed guardian [ad litum] say they shouldn't yet because Haley and David Brame Jr. fear their grandmother, Beverly Brame. "Haley is adamant about not seeing her grandmother Brame," says guardian [ad litum] Tanya Pemberton. "David is afraid of his grandmother." Psychologist Philip Frank made his recommendation after meeting with 8-year-old Haley Brame 18 times and with 5-year-old David Jr. 19 times since March... Frank's letter to [guardian ad litum Tanya] Pemberton and her recommendations to the judge describe two youngsters traumatized and fearful after seeing years of abuse that culminated with their parents' deaths... Frank's letter says that even before the April 26 shootings, "a continuing and repeated theme in their (the children's) therapy sessions was their fear of their paternal grandmother and their strong desire to not have to see her at all." Both children said they had seen their father threaten their mother's life, Frank says. "On at least one occasion, both children had witnessed their father pointing a loaded gun at their mother while threatening to murder her," Frank says. "On other occasions, Haley heard her father screaming death threats in the next room. Both children also heard their father tell their mother, 'I'll see you dead before I'll give you any of my money.'" Franks says neither child expressed fear that their father would hurt them, but both said they were afraid he would make them visit "Grandma Brame"... Haley and David also were upset that their father pressured them to recant their stories of being hit, slapped and bruised by his mother, Frank says. "Both children also stated that their paternal grandfather was 'nice' but he did not protect them from 'Grandma Bev,'" Frank says... Frank recommends working with the Brames to establish guidelines for contact with the children and that the first contacts be with Gene Brame and his family. But Frank worries about some of the family's comments in The News Tribune. David Brame's parents have said they believe he "snapped" after years of abuse by his wife. His sister, Jane Brazell, has called him an "angel on earth." "I know that progress can be made," Frank says. "However, cold- blooded murder can not be explained away, especially by blaming the victim...

DAVID BRAME'S FATHER CONTENDS INCIDENTS DISTORTED BY CRYSTAL
The News Tribune
Karen Hucks
August 19th, 2003
[Excerpts] Eugene Brame says he's tired of reading lies about his son, the late Tacoma Police Chief David Brame, in the newspaper. "Everyone that's involved, and I'm talking about both the families, we all know what the real cause of this problem was," Brame said Monday. "And it was not David... He said an incident Crystal Brame described in court papers as him pointing a gun at her and saying "accidents happen" was him trying to warn her of the dangers of firearms. "He said, 'Now you have to be very careful with these because accidents can happen,'" the elder Brame said... David Brame found himself in the same kind of domestic violence situation he had always tried to protect against in his police work, the elder Brame said. "Nothing in David's favor has ever come out in this entire matter," he said. "David was the most loving and gentle young man that the world would ever want to know. And he's not the man who's being portrayed. I know that I'm his father, but it's
the absolute truth
.

And remember above, in 2003 where Bev Brame blames money as the obstacle?:

"...Beverly Brame said she has been kept from her two grandchildren because a psychologist and the children's court-appointed guardian [ad litum] said it would be too traumatic - and she doesn't have the money for a custody battle..."

Money was not the problem and that became evident as of 2006:
TACOMA: Mother of late police chief wins $250,000 in state lottery
Stacey Mulick
The News Tribune
April 27th, 2006
[Excerpts] A Tacoma woman won $250,000 this month in the state lottery. Beverly Brame bought her Mega Millions ticket at Pacific Lanes... She could not be reached for comment. Brame is the mother of Tacoma Police Chief David Brame, who fatally shot his wife and then himself three years ago in a Gig Harbor parking lot.

And I can't even introduce these excerpts from David Brame's sister. They just are.

SISTER TELLS DAVID BRAME'S SIDE OF THE STORY
[Excerpts]
I HAVE PUT TOGETHER THE STORY OF MY BROTHER, DECEASED TACOMA POLICE CHIEF DAVID BRAME, BEFORE THE FATAL SHOOTINGS ON SATURDAY, APRIL 26, 2003... DAVID HAD CONCERNS ABOUT MARRYING CRYSTAL FROM THE VERY BEGINNING... CRYSTAL FREQUENTLY WOULD LASH OUT, SCREAM AND YELL... SHE WOULD ENTER THE BEDROOM, TURN ON THE LIGHTS AND START RANTING AND RAVING... SHE WOULD TAKE INAPPROPRIATE STEPS... SHE PRACTICALLY LIVED ON THE TELEPHONE... SHE WAS A VERY STRESSED, ANXIOUS-TYPE PERSON... FROM WHAT WE WERE TOLD BY DAVID... CRYSTAL WAS ON A TANGENT AND STARTED SLUGGING DAVID. SHE BRUISED HIM BADLY AND HE HAD PICTURES TAKEN OF THIS. HE SAID HE STOOD AND DID NOT TOUCH HER... DAVID WAS ALWAYS AN HONEST MAN AND IT HURT HIM TO THINK HE WAS MARRIED TO SOMEONE WHO WOULD LIE... SHE WAS IN NEED OF SERIOUS HELP FOR HER MENTAL INSTABILITY... DAVID HAD TO INTERVENE SO MANY TIMES... THE NORMALCY WAS NOT THERE WITH CRYSTAL. CRYSTAL ALSO MADE OVER 50 LONG DISTANCE PHONE CALLS IN A TWO MONTH PERIOD ... SHE WAS VERY JEALOUS AND INSECURE... CRYSTAL WAS SEEMINGLY DETERMINED TO RUIN HIM ONE WAY OR ANOTHER... SHE STARTED THE STORIES OF DAVID CHOKING HER THREE OR FOUR TIMES AND THE SUPPOSED DEATH THREATS. DAVID TOLD US THAT NEVER OCCURRED, WHICH WE BELIEVE... DAVID WAS NOT A GAME PLAYER LIKE HER. SHE WAS SO ANGRY WITH HIM SHE WAS ADDING MORE STORIES TO THE ALREADY STRAINED DIVORCE... DAVID SAID TO ME, "SHE'S DELUSIONAL"... CRYSTAL DID NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO LOSE MAKING ALL OF THE FALSE ACCUSATIONS... I DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW SOMEONE CAN BE SO DEVIOUS AND CRUEL AND THINK THEY CAN GET AWAY WITH IT. EVENTUALLY, LIARS GET CAUGHT. AND WHY WOULD SHE GO THIS FAR WITH THE STORIES? BECAUSE DAVID NEVER DID ANYTHING TO HER IN THE PAST EXCEPT FOR THE SHOOTING ON APRIL 26TH! CRYSTAL PLAYED YET ANOTHER VICTIM ROLE OF NOT HAVING ANY MONEY AND BEING PHYSICALLY ABUSED BY DAVID. SHE HAD CALLED THE POLICE AND ATTORNEY OVER MINOR, MADE-UP STORIES... SHE WOULD TAKE PICTURES OF THE SNOWMAN TREE BEFORE SHE TOOK IT DOWN AFTER CHRISTMAS SO SHE COULD DECORATE IT IN THE EXACT SAME FASHION THE FOLLOWING YEAR. THIS WAS ANOTHER "ODD, OBSESSIVE WAY" SHE HAD... PER THE TNT (OUR NEWSPAPER) SHE TRIED TO CONVINCE STOREKEEPERS OF HER PENNILESS STATE... CRYSTAL WAS NOT ONLY DIVORCING DAVID, SHE WAS BRAINWASHING THEIR KIDS... DAVID WAS A VERY GOOD FATHER AND HIS KIDS WERE HIS LIFE... DAVID WAS THE ONE THAT WOULD TUCK THEM IN AT NIGHT... THEY WERE USED TO CRYSTAL JERKING THEIR LITTLE ARMS, PULLING THEM INTO THE SHOWER WITH HER EVERYDAY... HE WAS A VERY LOYAL FATHER WITH A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR AND ENJOYED HIS FAMILY IMMENSELY... UNFORTUNATELY TO THIS DAY, OUR FAMILY HAS NOT SEEN THE KIDS SINCE THE TRAGEDY OCCURRED. WE HAVE SEEN THE PSYCHOLOGIST REPORT (TNT LET THE WORLD SEE IT AS WELL) AND CRYSTAL LIED HER WAY THROUGH THAT ALSO AND WAS WORKING ON THE KIDS BIG TIME TO TURN THEM AGAINST THEIR GRANDMOTHER, WHOM THEY HAD ALWAYS BEEN CRAZY ABOUT... CRYSTAL HAD SUCH AN EXAGGERATED MIND... SHE WAS ALWAYS SICK WITH SOMETHING. SHE PLAYED THE HYPOCHONDRIAC... OUR FAMILY RECOGNIZED HER AS SEEMING TO HAVE BIPOLAR SYMPTOMS, OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE TENDENCIES, LYING, VERY SELF-CENTERED, AND DOWNRIGHT UNBALANCED... SHE WAS A VERY MISERABLE YOUNG PERSON WHO SIMPLY DID NOT LIKE HERSELF OR HER LIFE. THE DAY OF THE SHOOTINGS DAVID HAD HIS KIDS FOR THE WEEKEND AND WAS SHOPPING FOR BATH TOYS AND GROCERIES... I THINK SOMETHING WAS SAID TO HIM THAT PUT HIM OVER THE EDGE AND BOTH OF THEIR LIVES WERE TAKEN... WE HAVE AN EXPLANATION REGARDING THE FLOWERS DAVID SENT TO CRYSTAL AFTER THE ALLEGED CHOKING INCIDENTS. DAVID DID SEND HER FLOWERS ON HOLIDAYS, BUT SHE MANAGED TO SAY HE SENT THEM THE DAY AFTER THE SUPPOSED ABUSE... WE WERE NEVER SURPRISED WHEN DAVID WOULD TELL US SOME OF THE ODD GAMES SHE PLAYED. IT WAS TYPICAL CRYSTAL...WE ALL KNEW HER TOO WELL. I LISTENED TO THE TAPE OF THE PHONE CALL CRYSTAL MADE TO HER PSYCHOLOGIST AT 4:35 PM ON APRIL 25 TH . SHE CLAIMED SHE WAS AFRAID FOR HER LIFE... I WILL NEVER BE CONVINCED THAT THIS WOMAN WAS AFRAID OF DAVID... DAVID WAS SOMEONE THAT WAS DEPENDABLE IN EVERY ASPECT OF HIS LIFE... WE WISH CRYSTAL WOULD HAVE SOUGHT TREATMENT FOR HER SEEMINGLY OUT OF CONTROL SERIOUS EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS... DAVID WAS A STRONG SUPPORTER OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PREVENTION, YET HE WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF HIS VERY OWN ABUSIVE MARRIAGE... JANE BRAZELL NEE BRAME
[rant police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities murder pierce county washington state politics children]

Saturday, April 25, 2009

[CA] LATE & RAGGEDY, BUT FINALLY, JUSTICE FOR JANET KOVACICH - killed by her deputy husband 26 years ago

...[Ex-Placer County Sheriff's Deputy Paul] Kovacich did not take the stand during his own trial... [Superior Court Judge Mark S.] Curry called the killing "cold, calculated and selfish." The judge said the defendant had the "good fortune" to have lived free for more than 25 years, and it was time for justice to be served...

I stood up and clapped when I read that Paul Kovacih had been sentenced to prison rather than given some alternate deal like probation, but I could drop my head and weep for how long it took - 26 years of Janet's killer living his life free, for Janet's parents who died destroyed by her murder, for Janet's children being so alienated from those who sought for her justice... and for the two and half decades of sorrow for her living family.
On the other hand - I am thankful that this day has finally come... as raggedy as justice gets - but it's finally here.

I am thankful that their children were not harmed.


...On Sept. 9, 1982, Paul Kovacich called the Auburn police, reporting his wife's disappearance and speaking in a tone that "seemed strangely calm and emotionless"... The husband asked for a few days to investigate the disappearance himself, a request that Smith said was granted to a fellow law enforcement official... It wasn't until "several days later" that officials made it to the Kovacich residence, where they were admitted by her husband...


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...Janet disappeared on Sept. 8, 1982, at age 27. She was reportedly preparing to end the couple's rocky marriage and confronted her husband about a divorce...


EX-DEPUTY GETS 27 YEARS IN PRISON FOR KILLING WIFE
CBS13
Apr 24, 2009
[Excerpts] A former Placer County Sheriff's deputy has been sentenced to 27 years to life for killing his wife. Paul R. Kovacich Jr., 58, of Placer County, today was given a 25 year prison sentence for his wife's murder, and was given an additional 2 years for using a weapon. Kovacich was convicted in January of killing his wife, Janet 26 years ago. Her skull was found 13 years later at the bottom of Rollins Reservoir north of Colfax... Janet disappeared on Sept. 8, 1982, at age 27. She was reportedly preparing to end the couple's rocky marriage and confronted her husband about a divorce. Prosecutors allege that Paul Kovacich offered to drive his wife to an appointment, but instead took her to the reservoir and killed her...

...
According to the Placer County District Attorney's office, in 1995, two people walking on the dry lake bottom of Rollins Lake noticed something partially buried in the silt. It turned out to be a partial human skull that was later found to have a bullet hole in its right side...

EX-DEPUTY GETS 27 TO LIFE IN WIFE'S DEATH
Paul Kovacich Jr. Found Guilty Of Murder In January

KCRA
April 24, 2009
[Excerpts] ...In January, a jury found Paul Kovacich Jr. guilty of murder, along with an enhancement for a weapons charge. Kovacich was accused of shooting Janet Kovacich in 1982. Placer County senior deputy district attorney Suzanne Gazzaniga said Kovacich was sentenced to 25 years to life on one count of murder in the first degree. He was also sentenced to two years for an enhancement - use of a firearm. "It was the sentence that we asked for," Gazzaniga said in a statement. Before the sentencing, the office said, Paul Kovacich denied his guilt and disputed trial witnesses... According to the Placer County District Attorney's office, in 1995, two people walking on the dry lake bottom of Rollins Lake noticed something partially buried in the silt. It turned out to be a partial human skull that was later found to have a bullet hole in its right side. DNA tests later revealed that the skull was likely that of Janet Kovacich... Placer County Superior Court Judge Mark S. Curry said although he hadn't heard of Paul Kovacich or the case before he received the trial, he said that after hearing all of the evidence, "I too was convinced that this gentleman murdered his wife"...

...
In court, Gregoire spoke of a sister who was his best friend. He spoke of the impossibility of his sister abandoning her children and of the emotional and physical strain her disappearance had on their parents, the late Leo and Jean Gregoire. "My dad lost interest in life," Gregoire said. "And my mother would just cry all of the time."...

EX-PLACER SHERIFF'S SERGEANT SENTENCED FOR WIFE'S 1982 KILLING
The Sacramento Bee, Page 1B
By Chelsea Phua cphua@sacbee.com
Apr. 25, 2009
[Excerpts] ...[Superior Court Judge Mark] Curry called the killing "cold, calculated and selfish." The judge said the defendant had the "good fortune" to have lived free for more than 25 years, and it was time for justice to be served. In a nearly packed courtroom, Paul Kovacich, 59, defended himself against evidence that led jurors to convict him in January. Kovacich did not take the stand during his own trial. "I don't know what or who to believe. All I know is that I love my wife and would never harm her... I (was) in a violent occupation, and I'm not a violent person... I think I served the community of Placer well." Kovacich remained mostly composed, sobbing softly and bowing his head only when he listened to his daughter, Kristi Kovacich, speak about him helping her with tying pigtails one morning soon after her mother's disappearance. Kristi Kovacich, then 7 years old, said she threw a tantrum that morning because she missed her mother, who was not there to help fix her hair. "My dad was truly amazing as we tried, as a family, to navigate through a very difficult time," Kristi Kovacich said. Kristi and her younger brother, John Kovacich, said they love and miss their mother very much and have fond memories of her, but vouched for their father's innocence. "My mom has been taken from us, not by my dad," John Kovacich said, highlighting aspects that showed prejudice against his father. "As sad as it sounds, sometimes I wish I could believe he was guilty," Kristi Kovacich said. "It would make it so much easier to deal with all the pain." But for Gary Gregoire, Janet Kovacich's older and only brother, justice has been served. "This is what we've been hoping and praying for, for 26-plus years," Gregoire said after the sentencing. Prosecutors said the Kovaciches' marriage was on the rocks and Janet Kovacich was planning to leave her husband, who some witnesses said was abusive toward her. Senior Deputy District Attorney Suzanne Gazzaniga said Kovacich hid his wife's body, and "only a pure series of miracles revealed it to this world." Hikers found a weathered human skull in 1995 at the bottom of a dry lake bed, and sophisticated DNA technology in 2007 determined it most likely belonged to Janet Kovacich. In court, Gregoire spoke of a sister who was his best friend. He spoke of the impossibility of his sister abandoning her children and of the emotional and physical strain her disappearance had on their parents, the late Leo and Jean Gregoire. "My dad lost interest in life," Gregoire said. "And my mother would just cry all of the time." He said his parents relentlessly searched for his sister and unsuccessfully fought to see their grandchildren. He pleaded with his niece and nephew to examine evidence and see the truth for themselves. By not admitting the crime, Paul Kovacich's "cowardice allows him to continue to deceive his children, forcing them to continue to suffer," Gregoire said. Turning to Kovacich, Gregoire asked him to disclose the location of Janet's remains. "She deserves a respectful burial and we deserve, after 27 years, a proper place to say goodbye," Gregoire said...

...He said he was not a violent person and never hurt his wife. He said when he looks at his daughter today he sees his wife. When he looks at his son, he sees his wife’s tenderness...

KOVACICH SENTENCED TO 27 YEARS TO LIFE
Children, Janet's brother speak in public about loss

By Jenifer Gee
April 25, 2009
[Excerpts] ...Paul Kovacich’s children, John and Kristi Kovacich, earlier expressed their utter lack of faith in a justice system they claim sent an innocent man to prison for a crime they are convinced he did not commit. Before and during the trial, the children have remained silent as a result of a court-imposed gag order... Kristi Kovacich, who was 7 and her brother 5 when their mother disappeared, said she was angered by rumors that she and her brother didn’t think of or love their mother. Kristi said her father was at every event in their lives from soccer games to graduations, to learning how to put her hair in pigtails and making lunches for school. When Kristi was speaking, Paul Kovacich bowed his head and shut his eyes. “Things were really tough for my dad,” Kristi Kovacich said. “I could tell he was really hurting inside.” John Kovacich spoke about how the investigation was never fair and how the case was wrongly prosecuted. He said no one in law enforcement “looked enough” to truly find out what happened to his mother... Paul Kovacich’s attorney, public defender John Spurling, said also voiced his disgust with the investigation. “I’ve been practicing criminal defense for 20 years and in my entire career I have never seen a case so disgracefully investigated and despicably prosecuted” Spurling said. Paul Kovacich also took the opportunity to speak. He stumbled through trying to vocalize 90 pages of notes on yellow legal pad paper in a limited amount of time. He said there were many leads that could’ve exonerated him that were never carefully investigated by law enforcement. Important information was never revealed in trial, either, he said. He said he was not a violent person and never hurt his wife. He said when he looks at his daughter today he sees his wife. When he looks at his son, he sees his wife’s tenderness. “The bottom line, your honor, is I don’t know what or who to believe,” Paul Kovacich said regarding the investigation into his wife’s disappearance. “I do know that I love my wife and I would never harm her.” Janet Kovacich’s brother, Gary Gregoire, strongly disagreed. He said when his parents first told him his sister was missing, he knew Paul Kovacich was involved. He said Paul Kovacich hid behind his badge as a Placer Sheriff’s sergeant and his “distorted rationalization of his church.” “Paul’s cowardice allows him to continue to deceive his children, forcing them to continue to suffer,” Gary Gregoire said. “That is not the love of a father. He has destroyed so many parts of so many people’s lives.” Prosecutors Suzanne Gazzaniga and Dave Tellman played a photomontage of Janet Kovacich. Afterward, Gazzaniga discussed how Paul Kovacich’s actions “plagued” the community and “tarnished” the respect of his law enforcement position. “It is not only his failure to take responsibility for this injustice but his continued deception,” Gazzaniga said in explaining why the defendant deserved the maximum sentence... Inside the courtroom, Gazzaniga had talked about how Janet Kovacich’s family has suffered immensely from Paul Kovacich’s crime. “Nothing kills the spirit of a human being more than the loss of a loved one,” Gazzaniga said. It was then that she implored Judge Curry to apply the harshest sentence possible in the name of justice for Janet, her family and the community. “Please,” Gazzaniga said, “put the spirit of a young mother, who loved her children and who never left her children, to rest”...

OLDER, BUT INCLUDED HERE:

...Then, in August 1982, just weeks before Janet disappeared, their dog Fuzz reportedly got into the trash. Upset, Paul Kovacich threw the dog around, breaking its bones and putting it into a coma... The dog died the next day... the dog's burial site was found by investigators in 1982 but not exhumed...


DETAILS OF A VANISHING - NEW BOOK SHEDS LIGHT ON DISAPPEARANCE AND THIS WEEK'S SEARCH
TheUnion.com
Becky Trout
Mar 3, 2005
[Excerpts] The tale of Janet Kovacich, the young Auburn wife and mother who vanished in 1982, troubled Jordan Fisher Smith long after he encountered her story during his work as a ranger in the Auburn State Recreation Area... In September 1982, the Kovaciches lived in a "starter" house at the end of a cul-de-sac in Skyridge, an Auburn subdivision, with their two children and German shepherd, Smith wrote. Paul Kovacich worked at the local jail and had a few head of cattle, which grazed on an acquaintance's ranch. But he also had a violent side, which came out in reports from neighbors and others who knew the young family, Smith wrote. Neighbors had reported yelling coming from the house, Smith wrote, and Janet once told a friend that Paul had smashed a chair into pieces during an argument. Concern for Janet caused one of Paul's co-workers to call the police, Smith wrote. "In her last weeks, (Janet Kovacich) exhibited new signs of independence and what could be interpreted as attempts to shore up her flagging self-esteem in the face of her husband's withering criticism," reads one excerpt from "Nature Noir." Janet had enrolled at Sierra College, trying to gain self-sufficiency, Smith wrote. Then, in August 1982, just weeks before Janet disappeared, their dog Fuzz reportedly got into the trash. Upset, Paul Kovacich threw the dog around, breaking its bones and putting it into a coma, Smith reportedly learned from Janet Kovacich's mother. The dog died the next day, he wrote. Auburn police have not confirmed that Fuzz was the dog found Wednesday at the Lake of the Pines house, but the chief did say the dog had died shortly before her disappearance. In his book, Smith says the dog's burial site was found by investigators in 1982 but not exhumed. About a week before she disappeared, Janet had cosmetic surgery to remove her scars and have breast implants put in, according to "Nature Noir." Her surgery forced her to rely on others for transportation and would have made it difficult to run away, Smith wrote, attributing his knowledge to investigators and Janet Kovacich's parents, who have since died. The day she disappeared, Smith wrote, Janet Kovacich called and made an appointment to enroll her children at Forest Lake Christian School, but she never showed up. Paul Kovacich had not wanted the children to attend Forest Lake Christian, investigators reported, according to Smith's book. On Sept. 9, 1982, Paul Kovacich called the Auburn police, reporting his wife's disappearance and speaking in a tone that "seemed strangely calm and emotionless," Smith wrote. The husband asked for a few days to investigate the disappearance himself, a request that Smith said was granted to a fellow law enforcement official... It wasn't until "several days later" that officials made it to the Kovacich residence, where they were admitted by her husband, Smith wrote. There, they "found the house spotless," Smith wrote. The missing woman's husband told the police he went to Kmart on Sept. 8, the day his wife was last seen... Paul Kovacich was unable to provide evidence of his trip to Kmart...
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