TACOMA, WA – Today Brandon Lee Farmer, 30, was sentenced to 407 months in prison 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. Earlier this month, a jury convicted Farmer of murder in the first degree.
“Our cold-case project continues its string of successes,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “Justice was delayed, but not denied. 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.
Communications and Public Information Coordinator
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office