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Patriot Bremerton

TEDDY BEARS Auto club fills the toy box at Harrison Page 3

FRIDAY, JANUARY 4, 2013 | Vol. 15, No. 48 | 50¢





hree of the top local news stories of 2012 came early in the year, seemingly back-to-back, and were full of tragedy. A Bremerton woman was murdered early in the month, an 8-year-old third-grader was shot in her classroom a few weeks later and a state trooper was killed during a traffic stop in Gorst the next day.

Serial killer on the loose? The body of 61-year-old Melody Brannon was found in the 1300 block of High Avenue in Bremerton around 6 p.m., Feb. 3. Brannon’s murder joined the unsolved May 2011 Warren Avenue murder of 19-year-old Sara Burke. Police said that a June 20, 2011 knife attack on Kenny Cobb as he walked along Burwell Street was also related to the murders and eventually led the Bremerton Police Department to announce the possibility of a local serial killer. That possibility, with little else by way of explanation from BPD, would terrify



Family safe after New Year’s Eve home fire Homeowners return to find smoke and fire By KEVAN MOORE

residents for months to come. Police went on to release a sketch of a “person of interest” in the case and eventually spoke to him. When asked whether people should keep the sketches up around town after the man was interviewed, police wouldn’t say. No arrests have been made and the cases remain unsolved.

nal charges following the shooting and plead guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm. An assault charge against Chaffin was dropped after she agreed to testify against her boyfriend, Douglas Bauer. The boy was charged with reckless endangerment and agreed to testify against Chaffin and Bauer.

Girl shot in classroom

Trooper killed

A few weeks after Brannon’s murder, just before the bell would go off to release students from their Armin Jahr Elementary classroom on Feb. 22, 8-year-old Amina Bowman was shot in her stomach when a .45 caliber handgun in a 9-year-old classmate’s backpack discharged. The girl’s parents, John Bowman and Teri Jolene Bowman, eventually went on to file a civil lawsuit against the Bremerton School District. The family made claims for $400,000 in medical costs and will seek at least $10 million in general damages. The Bowmans allege that district officials knew the boy posed a safety threat but failed to take appropriate action. Jamie Chaffin, the boy’s mother, faced crimi-

Washington State Patrol Trooper Tony Radulescu was shot in the head by Joshua Blake during a traffic stop on state Route 16 near Gorst in the early morning hours of Feb. 23. Radulescu was the first patrol officer killed in Kitsap County in 34 years. Tony Radulescu Blake fled the scene and eventually shot himself as a SWAT team circled in on the house he was hiding in. In the car with Blake at the time of

A family dog was rescued and no injuries were reported following a New Year’s Eve house fire in the 4000 block of Silver Lane NW in Bremerton. Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue crews got a structure fire call shortly before 10 p.m. Monday night. Upon arrival, crews observed smoke coming from the eaves of the two story, single-family home and flames near the roofline on one side of the house. Firefighters entered the home and found a fire in the kitchen that had extended into the attic. The fire was quickly extinguished. The homeowners, a husband, wife and their young son, had been out and when they returned home they saw the smoke before going inside. The wife and son went to a neighbor’s house and called 911 at about 9:50 p.m. The husband entered the residence and found heavy smoke on the second floor. He could hear the smoke alarms going off, so he grabbed the family dog and evacuated the residence. Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue Public Information Officer Ileana LiMarzi said the fire is not considered suspicious and the Kitsap County Fire Marshal was called to the scene to determine the cause. The investigation is ongoing at this time. LiMarzi said there is heavy fire damage in the kitchen area and attic and heavy smoke damage throughout

See TOP, A2

See FIRE, A3

Bremerton Patriot, January 04, 2013  

January 04, 2013 edition of the Bremerton Patriot

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