Special Reports

Brame suit back in Pierce County

The wrongful death lawsuit filed by Crystal Brame's family against the City of Tacoma is back in Pierce County Superior Court.

U.S. District Chief Judge John Coughenour signed an order this week moving the civil suit from federal court to state court in Tacoma, where it was filed.

Tacoma Police Chief David Brame fatally shot his wife, Crystal, and then himself April 26. Her parents, sister and children are suing the city, contending officials wrongly gave Brame power and a gun and then didn't watch him.

Initial claims against the city included contentions that Crystal Brame's federal rights to life and liberty had been violated.

Her family sued on Oct. 8 in Pierce County Superior Court.

Defense attorneys had the suit moved to U.S. District Court in Tacoma, saying it would make the trial faster and less expensive. The case was moved to Seattle when Tacoma's federal judges recused themselves from hearing it.

Attorneys for Crystal Brame's parents, Lane and Patty Judson; sister, Julie Ahrens; and children, Haley and David Jr., said moving the case was a delay tactic and an effort to keep the lawsuit out of the hands of a local jury.

Coughenour wrote in his order that because the suit had been amended to exclude federal claims and since the parties are in Tacoma, that's where the case should be tried.

Karen Hucks: 253-597-8660