Right up until she killed him, Paul Bailey IV was trying to find a way to get Fallon Brown help.
Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Martin made note of that Thursday before sentencing Brown for second-degree murder.
“He was Fallon’s friend, and he repeatedly tried to help her,” Martin said.
The judge also noted the 37-year-old Brown’s “long-lasting and well-documented mental illness” and acknowledged Bailey’s close-knit family and the 48 letters she received from his loved ones, who filled the courtroom.
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Before being sentenced, Brown, too, talked about her friendship with Bailey.
“Paul was my friend for four years, and he was there for me on many occasions,” she told the judge. “... I did a terrible thing, and I’m very sorry for that.”
Brown pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for killing 38-year-old Bailey in the basement of his Lake Tapps home, and Martin gave her a mid-range sentence of 14 years, three months and a couple weeks in prison. That’s what both the state and prosecution recommended.
According to charging papers:
Brown shot Bailey on Dec. 13, 2015, then took a taxi to Seattle, checked into a mental hospital and later confessed to the shooting at a Seattle police station.
Police weren’t sure if they should believe her initially because she was exhibiting signs of mental illness. Then Bailey’s body was found, and Brown was charged.
Investigator’s found Bailey’s body Dec. 16, 2015, in the basement of his home in the 1000 block of 187th Avenue East. They checked the home after a friend called the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department to say she was worried that she hadn’t heard from Bailey for a few days.
On Thursday, Bailey’s family told the court he was a quiet man with an almost silent laugh that made his shoulders shake.
He was a hard worker, they said, who had a 15-year career working on a Boeing assembly line.
Bailey loved animals, to the extent that he would save any critter from harm, they said — flies, spiders and squirrels included.
He also like playing guitar, fast cars, whiskey and his family, loved ones told the judge.
Sister Kelsey Bonham told the court he was often the one to take leftovers from family dinners and to be accused of having the extra containers.
“My Tupperware drawer now overflows, and it makes me so sad,” she said.
Another sister, Allison Bailey wrote the court that her brother didn’t judge people, which she figured Brown appreciated.
He had a dry, smart and sarcastic sense of humor.
Among the things she misses is his advice about cats.
One piece of which was: “Cats are jerks.”
He loved his own cat, Boots, who was there when Bailey was killed, loved ones said.
After, Boots went to live with Bailey’s parents, where the family said the cat would lie next to Bailey’s picture and cry.
Brother Kyle Bailey described walking into Bailey’s house after the shooting. It was “a hell that I cannot explain,” he told the judge.
Boots was hiding in boxes near the bloody scene.
Kyle Bailey also described the horror of having to clean up the basement.
Some of the only advice Kyle Bailey ever gave his brother was to stay away from Brown, he told the court.
He remembered hearing about a time that Brown was on his brother’s roof with a rifle and how his brother talked her down.
Brown “does not deserve freedom or rights or forgiveness,” Kyle Bailey said.
Defense attorney Aaron Talney noted that Brown had tried to take responsibility for her actions from the start by attempting to surrender to Seattle police.
“Ms. Brown, even in her delusional state, was trying to take responsibility and confess,” Talney said.
The victim, he noted sadly, was “the person who probably understood her mental illness the best.”