April 10, 1997 in City

Man Shoots Pregnant Woman, Kills Self Woman Gives Birth Before Dying

Associated Press

A pregnant woman who was fatally shot at a convenience store had recently been granted a restraining order against the ex-boyfriend accused of killing her, court papers show.

Debbennie Bernard, 23, died two hours after giving birth to a 4-pound boy, who remained in critical condition Wednesday night.

Bernard was shot Tuesday night at close range by Bradley Lorne Roehl, 32, who had driven to the convenience store where she was paying for gasoline. Roehl then committed suicide as he was cornered in a trailer park where he lived a few blocks away, police said.

Bernard, about 7-1/2 months pregnant, was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle late Tuesday night and died early Wednesday in surgery after giving birth to the boy, a nursing supervisor said.

The baby, who is seven weeks premature, was taken to Children’s Hospital in Seattle where he was listed in critical condition.

Roehl and Bernard had lived together near Orting, but several months ago she married another man, Orting Police Chief Ron Emmons said.

Craig Roberts, domestic violence coordinator for Pierce County Superior Court, told the Seattle Times that Bernard and a man identified as Timothy Pennington asked March 4 for a protection order against Roehl.

In her request, Bernard said Roehl had physically assaulted her on March 3, and had threatened for several months to kill her and himself, Roberts said.

The protection order was granted March 18.

Roehl had also requested a protection order against Bernard, but it was denied, Roberts said.

Roehl had been scheduled for arraignment Wednesday on a domestic-violence assault charge stemming from the March 3 incident.

© Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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