A suspected robber and his alleged getaway driver were charged with first-degree murder Thursday in the death of Pierce County sheriff’s Deputy Daniel McCartney, who was fatally shot Sunday after responding to a home invasion in Frederickson.
Court Commissioner Meagan Foley set bail for 32-year-old Frank Pawul at $5 million. She made it $2 million for his girlfriend and suspected driver — 52-year-old Brenda Troyer.
Both pleaded not guilty at arraignment.
They’re also charged with first-degree kidnapping, and Pawul faces an additional charge, of second-degree unlawful gun possession.
Charging papers give this account of what happened:
Troyer dropped off Pawul and another man, 35-year-old Henry Carden, in the Frederickson area, where the men robbed residents of a mobile home allegedly frequented by drug dealers and users.
McCartney was dispatched at 11:24 p.m. to the mobile home in the 20000 block of 45th Avenue Court East, where the residents had reported people had broken into their home.
Six minutes later, McCartney told dispatchers he’d arrived. Shortly after that, he made a “shots fired” call over his radio, his last transmission.
Other deputies arrived and found McCartney with a fatal gunshot wound. Nearby they found Carden with several gunshot wounds, including a self-inflicted fatal wound to his head.
Officers found Pawul about eight hours after the shooting, when he tried to get through a police checkpoint while shivering, soaking wet in filthy clothing, bleeding from his hands.
Investigators interviewed the residents who were home during the robbery — three adults and two toddlers.
The adults said two people armed with guns and large knives broke into the home and demanded money. The intruders held them at gunpoint in the master bedroom while they rifled through the home, the victims said.
One of the residents escaped through the bedroom window and called 911.
After Pawul was detained, officers found a knife in his front pocket and an empty bear spray holster on his hip. They had also found a canister of bear spray at the scene of the shooting.
Pawul told officers he was walking from his girlfriend’s house nearby, and that she probably was in Yelm.
Deputies determined he was talking about Troyer, and detectives got a search warrant for his phone. Texts messages on it showed Pawul had texted Troyer, saying he’d been hiding in a garbage can and wanted her to come pick him up.
She told him that the police had set up a containment, and they discussed how to get around it.
Troyer told Pawul that deputies believed McCartney shot Carden, and that Pawul killed McCartney as he was being pursued.
Pawul replied: “So hank killed a cop and himself.”
Deputies found and interviewed Troyer, who said she dropped Carden and Pawul off near the mobile home so they could buy a car, and then left.
Her phone records showed she went with the men from her Yelm home to the mobile home in Frederickson, stayed there until McCartney arrived and then sped away.
Investigators are waiting for more phone records, ballistic reports, fingerprint results, DNA tests and the Medical Examiner’s Office’s final report — which could lead to additional charges.
McCartney is survived by his wife and three young sons. His memorial service will be next week.
After the arraignments, the deputy’s family made a statement at the Yelm Police Department.
McCartney’s uncle by marriage — Kory Honea, sheriff of Butte County, California — told reporters the family has been humbled by the “outpouring of love and support.”
“Losing Daniel ripped a gaping hole in our lives and we will never be the same,” Honea said. “There are no words to adequately describe what an amazing person he was.”