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The original item was published from 3/12/2015 2:32:33 PM to 3/13/2017 12:00:07 AM.

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Prosecuting Attorney

Posted on: March 12, 2015

[ARCHIVED] Man pleads not guilty in 2006 cold-case killing

TACOMA, WA – Today Brandon Lee Farmer, 29, pleaded not guilty to murder in the first degree for the 2006 shooting death of Velma Tirado, 45. In November, 2014, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Farmer, who was in custody in West Virginia on unrelated charges. Farmer was transported to Washington State this week. He is being held in lieu of $3 million bail.

On Aug. 27, 2006, Farmer and his friend, Dusty Titus, picked up Tirado, who was working as a prostitute in downtown Tacoma. They drove to a nearby alley, where Tirado performed oral sex on Farmer in the front seat of the vehicle. At some point, Farmer and Tirado transitioned to the open doorway of the truck. When they finished the sex act, Farmer drew a revolver and shot Tirado in the head. Farmer and Titus fled the scene.

No suspects were identified in the initial investigation and the case was referred to the Tacoma Police Department’s Cold Case Unit. In October 2014, TPD Detective Gene Miller received a phone call from investigators in California. Titus told them he was the driver of the truck involved in Tirado’s murder. Miller and FBI Special Agent Terry Postma interviewed Titus, who identified Farmer as the shooter. Farmer then admitted to Miller that he was present during the murder.

“This is another example of collaboration, communication and persistence resulting in accountability,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “Our cold-case team continues to successfully resolve these cases for the community.”

Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Heather Songer
Communications and Public Information Coordinator
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
[email protected]

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