Special Reports

Brame kids go to sister of Crystal

Crystal Brame's sister will get custody of her young children, and David Brame's family will get to visit the children in time.

A court commissioner Thursday afternoon approved a legal adviser's recommendation to make Julie Ahrens and her husband, David Ahrens, guardians for 8-year-old Haley Brame and 5-year-old David Brame Jr.

In their wills, Crystal and David Brame both chose Julie Ahrens to raise their son and daughter if something happened to them.

David Brame, the Tacoma police chief, fatally shot his wife and himself in April.

"I've signed the orders," court commissioner David Johnson said Thursday afternoon. "Good luck to you. You have your work cut out for you."

No one contested the Ahrenses becoming guardians.

"I am recommending that both minors be reintegrated into both sides of the family" when it's OK with their psychologist, said Tanya Pemberton, the "guardian ad litem" for Haley and David Jr. Pemberton had been appointed by the court to make suggestions in the children's best interests.

A Tacoma psychologist treating the children since March told Pemberton it could traumatic for the children to see their paternal grandparents now, in part because they're afraid of their grandmother. The children told psychologist Philip Frank that Beverly Brame has been physically violent with them in the past.

Beverly and Eugene Brame, David Brame's parents, have denied ever striking the children.

Pemberton said both children have expressed a desire to see their uncle Gene Brame and his wife and teenage sons.

Don Powell, an attorney for the Brame family, told the court commissioner he hopes to resolve the visitation issues without a formal court action.

"I think it will go well," Pemberton said. "I think it will just be time."

After the court hearing, Pemberton introduced herself to Eugene and Beverly Brame.

"We want to see our grandchildren," Beverly Brame said.

"And you will," Pemberton said.

Haley and David have been living with their maternal grandparents, Lane and Patty Judson. They will remain there a while for stability before moving into the Ahrenses' house.

Karen Hucks: 253-597-8660