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Anderson feels blessed now
|Wapak woman ready to resume family life
after murder acquittal
By SHELLEY GRIESHOP
The Daily Standard
During a birthday party Tuesday evening for her 3-year-old son,
Kimberly Anderson said it struck her how very blessed she was.
"If it had been the Lord's will to send me to prison, I would have
accepted it and I was ready," she said. "But as I watched Ryan blow out his
candles, it occurred to me that things could have been very different, he might be
celebrating without his mommy."
It was two weeks ago today, when 12 Defiance County jurors acquitted
Anderson, 38, of aggravated murder, murder and voluntary manslaughter in the shooting
death of her husband Brent Anderson on Sept. 2, 2001. She maintained that she shot the
Celina attorney in an act of self-defense to protect herself and the couple's children who
were present in the rural Wapakoneta home the day she shot him.
During an interview this morning with The Daily Standard, Anderson
spoke frankly about many aspects of her life before the shooting, after her arrest and
"There are no winners here, I loved Brent, too. He was fun-loving,
a real charming guy. That's why I fell in love with him," she said. "I never
meant to take his life, I just meant to stop him from taking ours."
Since the trial, Anderson said the constant nightmares she experienced
following the shooting have disappeared and so have the negative messages she had received
periodically through cards and letters.
"I've gotten flowers and cards from people I don't even know who
sympathized with me and what happened," Anderson said.
A safety plan put into place the day of the shooting was terminated two
days after the trial and Anderson now may spend time with all her children without
"It was uncomfortable," she said describing the months she
was not able to be alone with her own children.
She also called it a blessing that she was not jailed immediately after
shooting her husband of two years. She considers herself lucky to have not been separated
from her children as most parents typically are following an incident so serious, she
said. She feels she was free from the beginning because she was honest with authorities.
"I told them exactly what happened that day and they believed me
that the shooting occurred in self-defense," she said. "I had no motive, nothing
to gain from his death."
She said at one point, hours after the shooting, her father tried to
warn her that "they might keep you," meaning she may be jailed yet that night
for her husband's death. She said she responded, "I haven't done anything
Anderson said she feels pressure from the surrounding communities and
Brent Anderson's family and friends was what stirred the Auglaize County Prosecutor's
Office to file charges against her.
"It was very political," she said.
She cites her faith in God as the sole factor that kept her going
during the last year after she was indicted in December 2001. When asked if she felt she
"got religious" from the whole experience and is now touting God instead of
providing answers, she replied:
"I've been a Christian since I was a child, but like anyone else I
turned to God when I needed help," she explained. "I've seen God's hand in my
life and he's been protecting us all along."
Anderson came close to offering a plea bargain during the jury's
seven-hour deliberation. At one point, jurors asked the judge to give them a definition
for preponderance, which indicated the seven women and five men were closely examining the
two most serious charges of aggravated murder and murder.
"Alan (Konop, her defense attorney) said, as my attorney, he
needed to tell me it might be wise to offer the prosecution a plea right now," she
said. "I told him all 12 jurors will have to decide that I'm guilty and I am not
going to make the decision to send myself to prison."
Anderson said Auglaize County Prosecutor Ed Pierce was standing next to
Konop, ready to discuss a plea bargain that may have sent her to prison for six months,
when she firmly said "no."
Kimberly Anderson said she has sympathy for the loss felt by the Brent
Anderson family, but she doesn't think they understand what was happening to Brent the
months before his death.
"He was mentally ill. I felt he had a mood disorder and I had
tried to get him to go to counseling for it," she said. "He didn't have any
She believes his family and friends may feel guilty because they, too,
were not able to get him help for his depression.
She claimed she probably didn't know Brent at all during their short
marriage, and that he told her many untruths during the last three years of his life. She
firmly believes, as she testified in court, that he was abusing their children. She
testified repeatedly that she confronted him that Labor Day weekend afternoon about her
suspicions of child abuse, and that is what started the incident. She claimed he chased
her upstairs in a fit of rage to stop her from making the sexual abuse claims public and
ruining his career as an attorney.
"Before that day, I really didn't think that it (abuse suspicions)
was true, but after Erik said it in front of Brent and I saw Brent's reaction, I realized
he was a desperate man," Kimberly Anderson said.
She said the couple's children, Ryan, 3, and Erik, now 4, were both on
the first level of the home when Brent Anderson chased her upstairs to the master bedroom
where she fired the first shot. When she fled the room after firing seven more shots into
Brent Anderson's body in a walk-in closet, she could not immediately find Erik who was
hiding in the living room.
"I said, 'Run Erik,' and grabbed Ryan at the bottom of the
steps," she said. She found Erik and the three made their way outside where she
Anderson said the children know what happened that day and continue in
counseling just as she has.
"They know I shot Daddy with a real gun and he is in heaven. They
saw his rage that day and knew he was bad," she said.
During the yearlong pending divorce proceedings, Kimberly Anderson's
attorney warned Brent Anderson and his divorce attorney that she was considering the
filing of a restraint order to keep him away from her. She also said she discussed using
children's services to exchange the children for visitation to avoid any confrontations.
She said Brent Anderson refused, fearing he would be disbarred if a protection order was
issued against him. He also did not want to face the embarrassment of exchanging his
children through a third party, she said.
A wrongful death civil lawsuit filed by Brent Anderson's brother, Kevin
Anderson of Cincinnati, in Auglaize County Common Pleas Court remains pending against
Kimberly Anderson. Kevin Anderson also is seeking custody of his two young nephews, an
action Kimberly Anderson said she doesn't understand.
"None of the Andersons had a bond with my children before. Why
they want them now, I don't understand," she said. "Is it for the best interest
of my children or to hurt me?"
Kimberly Anderson said her days are brighter now even though she cannot
return to her job with Lincare of Lima, where she was a practicing respiratory therapist.
She was placed on paid leave for three weeks by Lincare following the shooting, and then
terminated "because of the publicity to the office," Anderson said she was told.
She now is turning her hobby of faux painting into a career. Court and
attorney fees were phenomenal, but her parents have helped out with those expenses, she
Kimberly Anderson said she believes the truth is in front of everyone
now and it is up to each individual to believe it or not. As for her, she believes she did
what she had to do to defend her family.
"Brent died at my hands and I have to deal with that," she
Brent Anderson's family has own view
By SHELLEY GRIESHOP
The Daily Standard
Brent Anderson's sister responded this morning to statements made by
Kimberly Anderson during an interview with The Daily Standard.
Pam Anderson of Connecticut, Brent Anderson's older sister, acted as
spokesperson for her family.
Concerning the statement Kimberly Anderson made saying she had no
motive to kill her husband, Pam Anderson replied:
"By Kim's own account of the day of the shooting, she confronted
Brent with accusations of child molestation. I believe that it's reasonable to assume that
it wasn't just Brent who might have had his emotions aroused on that day. The difference
between Kim and Brent (that day) was that Kim had a gun and Brent didn't. It had been a
long and difficult divorce with a near-constant battle over custody and finances."
Pam Anderson also commented on Kimberly Anderson's statement that she
never meant to kill her husband. If she had the phone and the gun, why, Pam Anderson
asked, didn't she just call the police?
"Brent's body was found in a kneeling/sitting position slumped
against the wall of a closet. I challenge Kim to give a clear public step-by-step account
of exactly how Brent came to be in a closet with at least eight bullet wounds from Kim's
gun, if he was the aggressor in the alleged argument."
Kimberly Anderson referred to her husband as having a mental illness.
Pam Anderson said her brother underwent a psychological evaluation during the custody suit
and was found well within the normal range.
"The courts found him healthy enough to award him joint custody of
his two children (during the couple's separation). In addition to that, at the time of his
death he was a practicing attorney, working every day with judges and other attorneys in
the Mercer County court system. Surely somebody other than Kim would have noticed (if he
had a mental problem at that time)."
Kimberly Anderson said charges were brought against her because of
pressure from Brent's family and the community. Pam Anderson said it was the letter of the
law that caused Kimberly Anderson to be charged.
"Kim was indicted by an Auglaize County grand jury. Brent's family
and friends couldn't influence the grand jury because they had no way of knowing who was
serving on that jury. The grand jury indicts on the basis of evidence that is put before
it. Kim had an opportunity to testify before the grand jury and they heard her version of
events, but they still indicted her."
Auglaize County Prosecutor Ed Pierce also was contacted by The Daily
Standard, but was unavailable for comment at press time today.
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