"Jury deliberates just six hours, convicts Walradt"
June 11, 2008 · Updated 11:34 AM
"It only took the jury six hours to determine Brodie Edric Walradt was guilty of aggravated first-degree murder for the Sept. 17, 1999 death of Beth Kennard.The jury found Walradt guilty of all three charges against him, including first-degree manslaughter for the death of his and Kennard's unborn child, Alexis Ann, and escape from community custody when he fled the scene. Walradt was on parole at the time of the crime.Walradt and his attorneys will face the jury again to plead for his life at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, when the penalty phase of the trial begins. The jury will decide whether he should get the death penalty or life in prison.Kennard's mother, Carole, and Denise Lesoing, paternal grandmother of her 6-year-old son, Isaiah, collapsed in tears when the verdict was read. Family and friends who previously had been barred from the courtroom because they were witnesses - and subject to possible recall - hugged one another.Walradt, 30, paled and his demeanor was more somber than in previous court appearances.Before the verdict was announced, defense attorney Erik Bauer requested that Superior Court Judge Leonard Costello ask each individual juror if his or her verdict was for premeditated murder.I intend to poll each individual juror, Costello said.The answers were unanimous as Costello went over each part of the complicated ballots.The jury was dismissed with instructions at 2:20 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 8. Thursday was its first full day of deliberation, and the jurors' opportunity to review more than 400 pieces of evidence in the trial.The bailiff said they entered the jury room at 9 a.m. By 3 p.m. they reached their verdict, and calls went out to return to the courtroom.Asked if he was surprised by the quickness of the verdict, Kitsap County deputy prosecuting attorney Michael Savage said he doesn't speculate about the length of time a jury takes to deliberate.I'm just happy for the family, he said.It's one more off the streets, said Amy Fox, a Kitsap County Sexual Assault Center victim's advocate who has worked with the Kennard family for the past nine months.Carole Kennard and Lesoing were on their cell phones in the hall as soon as court was adjourned, informing family members, including Bob Kennard, Beth's father, of the verdict.Asked if she felt vindicated, Carole Kennard said Somewhat.You can't replace her, but at least he can't do it to anybody else, she said.Beth Kennard was killed four days after she obtained a protection order to keep Walradt away from her. Part of the verdict involved Walradt's violation of the restraining order in the commission of the murder.Walradt was convicted of breaking through a sliding-glass door at the Kennard home on Sept. 17, 1999, crushing Beth Kennard's skull with multiple blows from a log, suffocating her with a washcloth jammed into her mouth and held with yards of electrical tape, then raping her before leaving her for dead. Kennard was two weeks short of the delivery date for her and Waldradt's daughter, Alexis Ann. Alexis Ann died of oxygen deprivation shortly after her mother's death.Walradt also was convicted of aggravating factors first-degree burglary, robbery and second-degree rape.His attorneys, Bauer and Stephan Illa, based their case on an insanity defense. They tried to prove that Walradt was temporarily insane at the time of the crime, blinded by rage at being rejected by Kennard and unable to perceive the magnitude of his actions.Walradt will speak for the first time in the penalty phase hearing.That's where his side gets up and basically begs for his life, said victim advocate Fox.Carole Kennard also will testify again.I'll tell them about Isaiah, tell them what kind of life we've had since then, she said.The family has been living in a travel trailer parked in their driveway since the murder, rather than the house, where Beth was killed. They've sold the house and are waiting to move.Isaiah, Beth's son, knows Brodie broke in and hit his mom with a log. A little boy at school told him, Fox said.He calls for his mom at night. He's in therapy, we're all in therapy, Carole Kennard said. "