Debate over Walradt's remorse continues
June 11, 2008 · Updated 11:35 AM
"You could call them the purloined letters - not to be confused with the Edgar Allen Poe short story.Judge Leonard Costello allowed the prosecution to use 10 of 11 letters convicted murderer Brodie Walradt wrote during his incarceration and trial to rebut defense arguments that Walradt demonstrated remorse for his crime. According to Kitsap County Deputy Prosecutor Michael Savage, Walradt managed to circumvent rules about inmates sending letters to another jail when he sent the letters to a woman named Tammy Gomes through a third party. Gomes is a prisoner at the Thurston County Jail.Walradt was convicted of aggravated murder and manslaughter for the deaths of Beth Kennard and their unborn daughter, Alexis.This is the second week of the penalty phase of the capital murder trial. The trial continued Tuesday, after the Reporter's press deadline. Walradt is expected to speak to the jury before the conclusion of the penalty phase.Walradt and Gomes met when both were at Western State Hospital in Steilacoom prior to his trial.Savage noted that the jury heard defense witnesses testify that Walradt felt terrible about what he did, and would rather trade places with Beth.This man, since he met Tammy Gomes, has been pining for her ... he's essentially obsessed with another woman, Savage said. The jury should know he's been drawing (pictures and) writing letters for this other woman.Savage read excerpts from the letters, in which Walradt speaks of marriage and called Gomes a princess. In one letter, Walradt said before Kennard died he was a devoted follower of God, but now he was angry with God for taking Beth and his son.He wants to get married (to) Tammy. I don't know if it's legally possible, Savage said. While in a death penalty trial this man is making arrangements to have a life with Tammy Gomes.It probably is not legally possible, since the woman he's writing to already is married, according to a court source.Because the woman has a protection order against her husband, Thurston County Jail workers seized Walradt's letters, to see if the husband was using an alias to contact her.When the officials found out there really was a Brodie Walradt and he was in the Kitsap County Jail, they sent the letters to authorities here, according to a court source.The jail doesn't allow inmates to receive letters from inmates in other correctional facilities.Costello refused one letter because most of it relates to religion, he said.These letters are a sideshow, defense attorney Stephan Illa said, arguing that the letters had only small value as evidence of lack of remorse. They're only for him to say, 'I have no remorse, I take it back.' "