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The original item was published from 4/1/2016 4:34:53 PM to 4/2/2018 12:00:08 AM.

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Prosecuting Attorney

Posted on: April 1, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Jury convicts killer in 2006 cold-case murder

TACOMA, WA – Today a jury convicted Brandon Lee Farmer, 30, of murder in the first degree for the 2006 shooting death of Velma Tirado, 45. In 2014, Tacoma Police Department cold-case detectives received a tip that led to Farmer’s arrest. Farmer is scheduled to be sentenced on April 14, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. in room 411 of the County-City Building in Tacoma.

“Another success story for justice from our cold-case project,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “Collaboration between the Tacoma Police Department, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, and our office has resulted in several convictions with more to come.”

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.

Farmer was extradited back to Washington from West Virginia, where he was in custody on unrelated charges.

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

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