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September 14, 2005
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Family settles lawsuit against Wash. city over woman's slaying by her police chief husband

The Associated Press

TACOMA, Wash.- The City Council on Tuesday approved a $12 million payment and other provisions to settle a lawsuit filed by the family of a woman slain by her police chief husband.

The agreement will provide the relatives of Crystal Judson Brame with $1 million from the city's general fund and $11 million from insurance, the city said in a statement.

"This is the right time for the city and all parties involved in this lawsuit to put this tragic chapter behind us," Mayor Bill Baarsma said in the statement.

The city will also support naming the new Tacoma-Pierce County Family Justice Center in honor of the slain woman.

Crystal Brame was fatally wounded in April 2003 by her estranged husband, Tacoma Police Chief David Brame, who then killed himself. The killings prompted numerous investigations and lawsuits, with allegations that Brame had been promoted despite a failed psychological examination and a rape claim against him.

The family settled a lawsuit against Pierce County last April.

The city said that Tuesday's settlement preserves the family's "right to continue their investigation of the events surrounding the death of their daughter."

The family's legal actions included contentions that officials never investigated allegations that Brame abused his wife, did not protect her and intimidated her during the couple's divorce.

"We said from the very beginning that our primary reason for filing our lawsuit was to give us the ability to learn the truth surrounding Crystal's death," Lane Judson, Crystal Brame's father, said in a statement.

He added that the Brames' young children, Haley and David, are being cared for by the Judsons' daughter Julie and her husband.

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