Could Knox Campaigner Anne Bremner Be Facing A Prison Term And Disbarment?
Posted by Peter Quennell
Anne Bremner has just been charged with drunk driving in Kenmore north-east of downtown Seattle.
Our legal friends observed loud legal warning bells going off for Anne Bremner when they reviewed an apparent long list of past driving transgressions in the comments under this post.
One remarked that if she is shown in court to be a serial law-breaker, and an unrepentant danger to the public, a judge could (actually, he said should) really throw the book at her. That may even be for her own good.
A few days ago there was a hearing concerning a certain “Jane Doe” who wanted suppression of a police dash-cam video of a driver apparently drunk and some police records of an arrest by King County police.
Both of the main Seattle newspapers in addition to two Seattle TV stations were now wanting the records and video unsealed by the court. That particular Jane Doe seemed to adopt a surprisingly aggressive attitude toward the King County police, demanding the arresting officer’s service record for one thing.
Louder legal warning bells were observed going off.
There is no sign in Kenmore (as there is no sign in Perugia) that going head-to-head with good police officers really does pay off. Now the Seattle PI is reporting she is indicted..
High-profile attorney charged with drunken driving
By Scott Guttierrez
Seattle-PI Dot Com Staff
Prominent Seattle lawyer and TV legal analyst Anne Bremner has been charged with drunken driving, according to court records, despite her claims that she suffered a head injury in a hit-and-run accident and was mistakenly arrested.
On June 4, Bremner, 52, was stopped in Kenmore after driving on three flat tires. She was returning from a dinner party at a judge’s home in Seattle. The charge was filed Wednesday in King County District Court in Shoreline. Her arraignment is set for Sept. 1.
Bremner, a partner at Stafford Frey Cooper who often represents police officers accused of misconduct, has been fighting the release of the police report stemming from her arrest after it was requested under open records laws by several local media outlets, including seattlepi.com.
King County Superior Court Judge Laura Inveen ruled last week that most of the records should be made public. The judge, however, immediately stayed that decision as Bremner’s attorney announced an appeal of the decision.
Bremner claims police failed to respond to two 911 calls some time before her midnight arrest in Kenmore and, in a statement submitted to the court on her behalf by her doctor, alleged that she was manhandled by the sheriff’s deputy. In a complaint filed under the name “Jane Doe,” her lawyer argued she would suffer “substantial and irreparable harm to her personal and professional reputation if the unsubstantiated DUI allegations” were made public….
She has been one of the most vocal advocates for Amanda Knox, the University of Washington student convicted of killing her roommate in Perugia, Italy. Knox’s attorneys are appealing…..
To support their contention that Bremner suffered a head injury, her attorneys in the filed a statement by local psychiatrist Dr. Philip Lindsay.
Lindsay wrote in court documents that Bremner had been the “victim of a hit and run driver at 50 mph and had suffered a concussion,” and argued that the deputy who stopped her in Kenmore “rushed to judgment.”
“She was mistakenly arrested for DUI based solely upon the symptoms of traumatic brain injury,” Lindsay wrote the court.
Attorneys for the county called the doctor’s statements “grossly misleading” and contended Bremner never reported a hit-and-run crash or head injury until well after her arrest.
The title of this December 5, 2008 Puget Sound Business Journal article reads,
QUESTIONS FOR ANNE BREMNER, TRIAL LAWYER, STAFFORD FREY COOPER
On the public nature of the upcoming trial: This is happily a public proceeding, unlike the charging period. The only obstacle may be that Meredith’s family’s lawyer wants it closed, and that’s pending request. In Italy, there are cameras in the courtroom at all times. Court TV is looking at being there. I think it’s important that they get involved, and this be open access.
Shame on Anne Bremner!
Very nice catch, True North. Of course, these instances are very, very different.
1) In Perugia, the request to the judge to disallow cameras and close the sessions came from the family of the VICTIM who wanted Meredith’s personal life and especially her autopsy out of the public gaze.
If Bremner seriously wanted all of that painful material to come out and felt it would actually make Amanda Knox look better, Bremner is seriously sick. Full open access to the trial in Perugia was in fact denied, and portions of the trial were behind closed doors.
Cameras only rolled in the courtroom at the start of each session in any case. There was also a live CCTV feed (which could be photographed) to the press room. We think they hit about the right balance and Knox had plenty of opportunities to grandstand.
2) In Kenwood, in contrast, Anne Bremner will be the DEFENDANT and she appears to be trying to suppress a video and some documentation that rumor has it may show her almost too drunk to stand up.
Seattle citizens who worry about drunk drivers taking out one of their kids deserve a serious look at that.
Comments threads below the three stories linked to above are well worth a look. Opinion is running about 10 to 1 against Bremner and several lawyers have offered some insight.
The first thing I would suppress, being Anne Bremner, would be that photo or the photoshopped version that is still being circulated by the press and in which she appears to be a young woman in her freshman year.
First time I saw her on tv, I was in utter shock and couldn’t believe how the photo I saw a day before could have something to do with that cat woman. What in the name of god did she do to her eyes?
I am sorry, but it is so unbelievable to me that someone would actually pay to look like this. What happened to ageing gracefully?
@Peter Quennell: Anne Bremner only wants “transparency” when it suits her. Where I grew up we call it double standards.
Seems like Anne Bremner is very obsessed, to the point of extreme rage, with her image.
Interesting to read Nell’s comment about the photo she chooses to circulate. Again, part of her image…
She can’t own up to drunk driving - it had to be someone else’s fault, a brain injury, police “manhandled her” etc. Why? Because it would ruin her public image…
No wonder she felt some affinity with Knox.
In the header of her website, she presents photos of herself that show her in her twenties. Now compare that to the shot above.
C’mon. From time to time that photo should be updated. She is simply irrecognizable. Doesn’t it bother her that people expect a woman in her thirties and then are confronted with her? It must be depressing.
Image does seem to be so very important to Ms Bremner - I find it strange, if I needed a lawyer I would be looking for someone with a good track record, plenty of experience, not someone wet behind the ear, youthful looking. We all want to look our best, and I fear for people who think age detracts from their natural beauty - our journey through life equips us with experience and skills as well as wrinkles, it makes us who we are.
Image is also important in business - Business owners go out of their way to court the press and to project a professional image to their consumers, the public. If a prominent member of a business has to deal with a court case in many instances they step aside from their business role whilst they sort out their own legal troubles in order to protect the image of the business. I wonder if this might happen in this case?
As far as I am aware, driving offences are normally prosecuted and otherwise dealt with in the public arena. I see no reason why anyone should be afforded “special treatment”.
I was downtown in Manhattan around 4:00 pm two Fridays ago showing visiting friends, a mother and daughter, the NY Stock Exchange. There was an elaborate CNBC production team at the top of the high steps right opposite. (CNBC is the larger of the two US financial networks; Fox is the other.)
It turned out to be Maria Bartiromo wrapping up on the stockmarket for the week.
I explained to our friends and some tourists who moved over that Maria is the smartest, hardest-working, most-liked, and highest-paid financial analyst here on TV. Read up about her and you’ll see she is the real thing, fun, unpretentious, and very Italian and Brooklyn.
Lower down in her network and in other networks are various “financial cuties” who compete to knock her off her throne, or at least be on live TV every day, or at least not be forced off TV altogether. And they dont exactly achieve this invisibly. Media watch them and report them trying to do all that it takes.
Anne Bremner seems to have this same addiction, to be out there and in the public eye. But the shrinking of legal TV is making it harder. The Court TV channel was yanked a year or two ago, and so there is less legal chat and less demand for “legal cuties” of which by the way there were and still are several dozen.
We have altogether posted three images of Anne Bremner which all came from video and they seem typical of how she looks now and not unfair. There are pages of images on Google Images of the generation Nell links to, and only one that shows her as she is now.
My dear mother always taught me that taking pleasure in the misfortune of others was a terrible trait. She was right, of course. She usually was. However, I sometimes ignore her advice.
This is one such occasion.
The idea of Anne Bremner imbibing heavily to compensate her conscience for her ambulance-chasing support of Knox is no surprise.
The voluminous evidence against Amanda Knox was pretty well known in late 2008 and the prosecution finished presenting it all in court over a year ago.
She spoke often about it wrongly on TV, formed the still corrosive FOA group, and created the first of various misleading websites. She either misunderstood the evidence, as she seems to speak no Italian (although much of it was here in English), or she misrepresented the whole by ridiculing small parts.
It might have helped to cause Amanda Knox to hang firm instead of pleading a charge. Particularly it caused hopes and tempers to rise in Seattle. People associated with the prosecution and the victim in Italy and the UK were hurt with no similar easy access to hit back. A cowardly approach.
Whether her problem is one of guilt at hurting many people, or the fear of being isolated and ridiculed as incompetent, or the fading of a TV career, she seemed to deserve this fall. I agree: while nobody takes joy in it, she is reaping what she sowed, and hopefully will let justice be seen to have taken its course.
The overly aggressive campaign Anne Bremner is waging against the police force - for example demanding the arrest records of every arrest the arresting officer has made in his career, (oh pur-lease)smacks of guilt and desperation to me.
Some commentators have said that Anne Bremner’s alleged drink problem has no bearing on Meredith’s murder case, I understand this point but in the context of the people who are standing up and ringing the bell for the convicted killer Amanda Knox I disagree.
If certain individuals want to be vocal and stand up and be counted they, by doing so, bring themselves into the spotlight they seem to love so should therefore be prepared to have their credibilty put to the test.
It is a question of credibility.
The ‘every trick in the book’ tactics Bremner is pulling here should be highlighted and rightly and justly so. In this context one has to look at the ‘every trick in the book’ tactics she has been using to malign the Meredith Kercher investigation.
I hope that the very long record Anne Bremner has for DUI offences - a consistent record which stops dead in the year 2000 (the year Judge Heavey took office) hasn’t been lost on observers of the Meredith Kercher case.
Two prominent people both based in law and both trying to influence the murder trial of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.
I believe Anne Bremner’s relationship with judge Heavy deserves a look at under this spotlight.
DUI is a very serious offence and I know this from experience as a married couple I know lost their child through someone drunk driving and they have never been able to get over it to this day.
Hi Black Dog. Excellent points.
In fact Anne Bremner’s handling of her present drunk-driving case has a VERY STRONG bearing on how the US public see Meredith’s case and the role in it of Amanda Knox.
Remember, Bremner leaped right in and set a major national campaign running with, as you say, her credibility and reputation and prominence as a legal commentator very fully behind it.
She has been THE most prominent and frequent talking head on Meredith’s case in the US.
You can see her in every report and documentary that has been aired, and she is second only to Edda Mellas in how often she has been on TV.
As far as we know, Bremner wasn’t invited in, it was her choice (in fact there have been reports of very bad blood between her and Knox PR manager David Marriott and their going their separate ways).
And she apparently has provided all of her support for free. Pro bono. At her own cost. Even a quick trip she made to Perugia to mix with Frank of Perugia Shock and to post there.
This perception of “selfless” work by Bremner added to her credibility in her maligning of the evidence and the Italian justice-system officials on the case.
Now, it is increasingly turning out that her credibility, as a kind-hearted, upstanding and selfless legal officer who invariably gets it right, and nails people nastily but deservedly, seems built mostly on sand.
And so, as her credibility as a manager of her own personal affairs and her court-case continue to implode, so does the public perception grow (especially in Seattle) of how warped her take on AK really is.
@ Black Dog
It is rather ironic that both Amanda Knox and Anne Bremner spent their last birthdays in jail.
Like Anne Bremner, King County Superior Court Judge Michael Heavey lobbied on behalf of convicted murder Amanda Knox.
Currently, Judge Michael Heavey is facing a Washington State Judicial Commission Disciplinary hearing for sending his letters to the Italian judges using his official letterhead.
And according to this December 5, 2009 Seattle Times article, by Jonathan Martin, Judge Michael Heavey is also alleged to have sent a copy of the knife DNA report to a California independent DNA expert.
” Elizabeth Johnson, an independent DNA expert in California, analyzed the report after being given a copy by Heavey, and came away appalled.”
I wonder if Washington State Judicial Commission Disciplinary panel is investigating Judge Michael Heavey to determine whether or not he also allegedly gave that DNA report to Elizabeth Johnson, through the use of his official King County office?
A major way in which the Kenmore case and the Perugia case have connections is as follows.
Bremner’s special pleading for herself, however arcane, on the Kenmore case presumably has the intention of getting her off the hook. Or at least of blowing a lot of smoke so that cynicism toward the King County police and the county court authorities rises up into the stratosphere.
Leaving a whole new crop of Seattlites loaded with cynicism on ALL police and lawyers and justice officials and government in general. Society pays a real price for this, and Seattle risks becoming a lesser place - investors and corporations, too, want good reliable trusted courts.
That could also have the effect of cooling what seems like a strong case of mandatory monitoring and treatment for alcohol abuse before a kid on their bicycle has to die.
Bremner has used the same broad approach in Meredith’s case. Cynicism toward Italian police and prosecutors and court authorities, and government agencies generally, and even the Italian people (remember “anti-Amerricanism”?) in the United States are obviously now up in the stratosphere.
And this approach blunts a definite need to examine the reasons why Amanda Knox was allowed to head off to Perugia with known quirks, known drug use, known lack of structure, known limited reserves of money, and known problems in replenishing it.
Not least, to stop it ever happening again.
Those who enabled Amanda Knox in these ways also enabled her to kill Meredith. Subject of this post here on not letting people off the hook who might have saved poor Meredith.
And not only that, Bremner has been helping to allow those who enabled Amanda Knox as above to portray themselves in Seattle and the US generally as the GOOD guys. Quite a one-person campaign aimed at undermining the vital institutions that help to make society tick.
In TWO countries.
Right now, neither the US nor Italy are seeing their institutions assaulted in such a cynical way by anyone else so prominent, except in in fringe politics.
My name is Dennis. I mostly just read what is happenening with the Meredith Kercher case on your site mainly and have been following the case from the beginning.
Nothing to do with Anne Bremner but I’ve recently visited Perugia with my girlfriend as part of a mutiple city drive by car (1,500km)
What first struck me about Perugia is how small it actually is within the walled city and how bored the students seem sittting on the steps in the main square.
We only stayed 2 days but saw Patrick in front of the University of Strangers and Antonio Curalato twice in the park next to the basetball courts….they seem permanent fixtures in the community.
There´s been a lot of talk about the facilitators and even enablers of psychologically troubled potential killers around here and the institutions that could have effectively stopped a dangerous person like Amanda in time.
But I wonder who actually neglected their responsibility by not heeding the “danger signals” Amanda was reportedly sending out. Someone on this webpage has even described them as ” Cries for help.”.
The problem is that society is blind and in our world of egotism and essentially self-help no one cares about anybody else. Who is essentially to blame for Meredith´s death if Amanda was a poor troubled person in need of help herself ?
Hi Dennis and welcome. If your visit was in July or August the old town is amazingly different then with nearly 18,000 students elsewhere and inhabitants at the beach and no festivals on. And of course there has been another heatwave.
The center of the old city is not very big (about what I expected, maybe bigger) but there are two “ears” to the north-east and north-west (Sollecito and Guede lived in the one to the north-west) that do take some walking.
My guess is you might have seen a lot of young women in particular? The summer schools that are run in Perugia seem very attractive to them. Part of the disjunction of this tragedy is that women there generally feel very safe.
(Scroll down) See the girl here? A few months after Meredith’s death.
Hi Athelred. All that really needed to happen is for someone in Seattle to insist on or at least encourage that Amanda go to Perugia on the same basis as 99.5 percent of all other foreign students.
Inside a funded, structured arrangement, where she would have been monitored, and where warning signs like quirks and drug-use would have been observed. Same basis as Meredith, in other words.
Universities around the US have since moved to (1) be more protective of students on formal programs they help organize, (2) distance themselves a lot more from the few independent others.
One of the ways Meredith’s sad case has actually resulted in a plus.
The psychological tests done on AK in prison during the year before the trial indicated severe problems - it was actually stated that she might kill again. So bail and house arrest were denied, and she sat 14 months in Capanne before the trial began.
A psychological plea was never ever considered, at least as far as we can tell, back in Seattle, though Ghirga and Della Vedova might have welcomed it and made it fly. So no evidence was presented on the psychology either way at trail.
Accordingly, Amanda’s sentence was the max possible, given some mitigating circumstances the trial judges allowed. Resulting from that defense stance, under the law AK is fully to blame. She might still incur a life sentence.
I blame mostly Amanda’s parents. I personally don’t believe that education (or the lack of it) alone makes a murderer, but if I compare for example, Raffaele Sollecito with Amanda Knox, it seems his father did a lot in order to get his son on the right track.
He was aware of his drug use and he tried to control him, he didn’t ignore that his son was in need of help and he acted accordingly (or so he thought). He didn’t seem to be impassible.
Amanda’s parents seem to be exactly the contrary. They both seemed to be blissfully unaware of any trouble with their daughter or simply chose to ignore it.
After seeing them on tv my impression is that they tend to excuse Amanda’s behaviour instead of correcting it. Their rants against everybody and everything makes them unlikeable.
I don’t think they are people who take responsibility for their actions. Curiously enough Edda Mellas is a teacher.
Good questions, aethelred23.
You sum it up accurately: who’s to blame in this “world of egotism and essentially self-help”?
A world where no one cares about anybody else, that wasn’t God’s plan. Christian websites like Benny Hinn, Richard Roberts and many others offer hope for the world. God’s love is the only hope. I could say more but I don’t want to hijack this site for religious discussions which are better addressed on sites for those matters, and which are always controversial.
This world is flawed and everybody in it. In AK’s case, the first line of defense for her mental health was her father and mother.
When children are pushed aside after divorce so parents can pursue their own desires, trouble erupts eventually.
Her strong desire to attend a Catholic high school may have been her way of reaching out for spiritual help, but she may have been seduced there by ambition in the academic sphere, a deplorable contrast to faith and love. It’s possible the school failed her by not focusing on the truth they were founded on. On the other hand, Amanda Knox may not have been sincere about receiving the truth they offered her.
Now she has a second chance.
I never got anywhere in life until a man taught me to sow into Christian ministries. I did. It took a long time, but I was delivered from poverty, illness, and defeat. The sowing led to harvests which enabled me to pay off all our debts, credit cards, our cars, hospital bills, debts to two colleges, gorgeous weddings for both daughters, new automobiles, money to my son, my book published, paid a lot of taxes, gave start-up money for son-in-law’s small business, and help for struggling family members. I’ve been able to buy beautiful clothes and quality shoes, a diamond. Plus I was able to take 2 fabulous trips and I’m working on a third. As the gospel song goes, “I cried my last tear yesterday.”
Better than a lottery, the sowing isn’t subject to loss, it only multiplies.
Money isn’t virtue, but God is good. I try to restrain my religious comments on this site but a worldview is difficult to set aside. This is the last of my testimony for awhile on this site.
Amanda is not the only student to bomb out in college, which is stressful even for the strong. It takes years to find out the truth.
The mental health of Amanda Knox before she left Seattle for Perugia has to be questioned in light of her killing her housemate Meredith Kercher shortly after she arrived there.
Her mother (whom I believe she lived with in Seattle) MUST have seen something wrong with her daughter at some point prior to her leaving for Italy.
It is totally irresponsible of her mother to not do anything and just describe her daughter as ‘wacky’ or ‘quirky’.
I don’t know where the line is supposed to be drawn between being ‘wacky Amanda’ ‘quirky Amanda’ or a mentally ill Amanda.
Her friends, family and supporters still to this day, describe her behaviour as ‘Amanda being Amanda’
To digress slightly I have never felt comfortable with the constant TV appearances and images in the media of Edda Mellas in floods of tears, yet at the same time her daughter is shown laughing, grinning and smiling in court at her murder trial.
It doesn’t seem right, it is strangely constrasting behaviour to say the least - but is Edda Mellas constantly crying for the victim Meredith Kercher or her daughter Amanda, or herself?
I have to add that anyone who is seen performing cartwheels at a police station when the reason they are there is to speak to the police regarding the murder of her housemate the day before, has to have some sort mental health issue or issues.
I simply do not believe that her family and friends never saw anything dangerous or odd about Amanda Knox.
For her family to let their daughter loose in a foreign country with obvious mental health issues is criminally irresponsible in my opinion and I hope safeguards are put into place so this kind of tragedy can never happen again.
I don’t quite sum up that Knox is a “poor, troubled person.” She is academically sharp and evidently quite ambitious in getting what she wanted - whether or not she had adequate funds to support her lifestyle and studies.
As is noted in my post “Master Manipulators, Masks, and Murder: Parallels Of The Amanda Knox And Scott Peterson Cases” these types of unbalanced personalities are master manipulators and con men, charming and fooling even those closest to them.
Surely there are those back in Seattle who, over the years, had observed cracks in the Knox facade, but - as Peter has mentioned - out of fear of retaliation from the Knox/Mellas clan, they have kept silent.
Thanks for the info about the students during the summer time in Perugia.
I was there August 13 and 14 so I assume just caught the first students settling in for the new semester and the summer course students.
Even though 18,000 students sounds like a lot during the regular course season (sept. and on)what i meant was that apart from studying and partying it seems like there’s not much else to do.
I see how ‘weed’ can fill the void for some -which might lead to harder drugs yet for others.
On the point of feeling like a safe place we did see many girls walking alone in the day but not so many at night. We did see some dodgy characters down some of the lanes that seemed to have one guy as a look out at the top of the path!
I guess there’s an effort to crack down on the drug selling within the student town as can be seen from the patrol and the nervousness of the dealers.
Thanks Dennis. Yeah we have posted several times on drug clamp-downs and there have been a lot of arrests.
There’s a lot going on in Perugia when the big schools are in session, many classical and pop concerts for example, a lot of sports, many clubs and restaurants, some huge festivals, and the area surrounding Perugia also has a lot to offer. I cant think of another city of that size that is more lively.
And of course another alternative to smoking dope might be simply to focus on study and research. Perugia’s is a very good university, and a lot of advanced research goes on there. A median very high IQ.
I think that August in Europe is way too early for undergraduates to be around (our undergrads don’t come up until the start of October - with first years coming up a week earlier if they want to) so it would have been purely summer school students. Michaelmas term starts on the 4th October for us this year for example.
Also, when the undergrads are down and local schools are on holiday other signs of the slowdown appear - we get fewer buses for example and they don’t run as late as when the students are up. Even some bars and (typically cheaper) restaurants reduce their opening hours, so it can seem very quiet during the summer. I suspect that Perugia and other university towns see similar changes over the summer.
August is also “holiday month” in most of Southern Europe - it’s just too hot to function normally so people head for the coast if they can!
Of the Knox clan, I’ve met only Curt, on several occasions. He seemed a fairly normal,mild-mannered man, but of course, he was not wearing his FOA hat at the time.
I work with teachers, and part of the job is recognising and dealing with emotional problems in the students. Disruptive behaviour in the classroom hurts not only the disturbed student, but distracts everyone else.
Edda, as a teacher, is certain to have dealt with problem students. That doesn’t mean she is willing to accept that her own flesh and blood could be anything less than perfect.
I think the most likely unbalancing factor in the family home would have to be the “underage” stepdad. His inappropriate drinking with and criticism of his new charges underscored Amanda’s normal coming of age.
There was a strange dynamic, and probably a honeymoon nymphomania on the part of her mother. Bound to be uncomfortable.