TACOMA, WA – Today, the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office charged Frank William Pawul, 32, and Brenda Kaye Troyer, 52, with murder in the first degree and kidnapping in the first degree. Pawul was also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree.
“I want to acknowledge the outstanding work of detectives in the Sheriff’s Department under these difficult circumstances,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “This is an ongoing investigation and we will hold accountable everyone who is responsible for the murder of Deputy Dan McCartney.”
On January 7, 2018 at 11:24 p.m., residents at 20012 45th Ave. Ct. E. reported to 911 dispatch that there were intruders in their home. Three adults and two children were present when the intrusion occurred. Residents reported that two suspects broke into the home and demanded money. Both were wearing masks and armed with handguns and “bowie” style knives.
The residents were taken to the master bedroom and held at gunpoint while the intruders searched the house. One resident escaped through a window and called 911.
At 11:30 p.m., Deputy Daniel McCartney notified dispatch that he had arrived in the area. Approximately 3 minutes later, Deputy McCartney notified dispatch that he was in foot pursuit of the suspects. A short time later, he called out “shots fired.” No further transmissions were made.
Other deputies responded to the area and found Deputy McCartney unresponsive. Deputy McCartney was transported to St. Joseph’s hospital, and was later pronounced dead from a gunshot wound.
Deputies also located the body of Henry Carden, also unresponsive. Carden sustained several gunshot wounds, including a gunshot wound to the head. He died from his wounds.
The search of the area led to recovery of a safe and backpack stolen from the residence. A bear spray canister was located in the area where Deputy McCartney’s body was found.
Officers secured the area to locate the other suspect. At approximately 8:10 the next morning, an officer reported a male matching the description of the second suspect walked to his traffic control point. That person was later identified as Frank Pawul. Pawul was taken into custody. He was wearing a bear spray holster on his hip and had knife in his front pocket.
Pawul told officers that he was walking from his girlfriend’s house and nodded toward the northwest. Officers were able to identify the woman Pawul referred to as Brenda Troyer.
The investigation revealed text messages between Pawul and Troyer about Troyer picking him up, the police containment, and the shooting of Deputy McCartney and Carden.
Detectives traced the path of Pawul’s phone near the incident residence at the time of the break in until the approximate time Deputy McCartney reported his foot pursuit.
Cell phone data obtained by detectives shows Troyer’s phone remained in the area where she reported dropping off Pawul and Carden, until approximately the time Deputy McCartney reported he was in the area. Her phone then moved quickly away from the area of the home invasion.
Bail for Pawul was set at $5,000,000. Bail for Troyer was set at $2,000,000.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
For more information, please contact James Lynch at (253) 798-6265, [email protected].