Murder suspect Donna Perry had her bond set at $1 million in a brief court appearance today after refusing to come to court Monday.
Perry is accused of killing Yolanda Sapp, Nickie Lowe and Kathleen Brisbois in Spokane more than 20 years ago when she was living as Douglas Perry. Perry had a sex-change operation to become a woman in 2000.
The change caused some confusion for her attorneys, who reported in court that they were unable to meet with their client previously because she is listed as Douglas Perry in Spokane County Jail records. “They say she’s not here because they have her listed under her prior name,” said defense attorney Anna Nordtvedt.
Richard Brisbois, brother of murder victim Kathleen Brisbois, drove several hours from his home in Fruitland, Wash., to attend the court hearings with his family. Brisbois said he didn’t think it was right that Perry could refuse to come to court Monday. “That was quite aggravating,” he said.
Seeing Perry in court today brought a sense of closure, Brisbois said. “It was good to see and hear that (Perry’s) in jail and will be staying in jail,” said Brisbois. “We’re all really happy to have some closure even after 24 years.”
Brisbois thanked the detectives who continued to work on his sister’s slaying for decades, calling them “devoted.” His sister left behind three daughters and there are now several grandchildren, Brisbois said.
“It still brings tears to my eyes,” he said. “My heart gets heavy when I think of my sister. I miss her.”