Crime

Her best friend was in bed with her fiancé. Now a Prosser mom is accused of murder

Amy S. Brown, 36, of Prosser is wheeled into her first appearance Monday in Benton County Superior Court on suspicion of second-degree murder of Amanda Hill. The fatal shooting happened early Saturday morning during a dispute at a birthday party in Prosser. Brown is apparently in a wheelchair because of an ankle injury unrelated to the alleged crime.
Amy S. Brown, 36, of Prosser is wheeled into her first appearance Monday in Benton County Superior Court on suspicion of second-degree murder of Amanda Hill. The fatal shooting happened early Saturday morning during a dispute at a birthday party in Prosser. Brown is apparently in a wheelchair because of an ankle injury unrelated to the alleged crime. Tri-City Herald

A Prosser mother claims she was attacked by her best friend after finding the woman in bed with her own fiancé.

Amy S. Brown told investigators she knew her friend was trying to fight her, but not kill her, yet she still fired her revolver twice.

Amanda L. Hill, 35, died in Brown’s arms before Benton County sheriff’s deputies arrived at the West North River Road property, said investigators.

Hill was the mother of a 13-year-old boy.

“(Brown) said she knew she didn’t have to shoot her, but she did and she is sorry,” Detective Scott Runge wrote in a probable cause affidavit.

The two women and their boyfriends had been drinking Friday night, celebrating Brown’s 36th birthday the weekend before.

On Monday, Brown was rolled into court in a wheelchair. The mother of two boys told officials she injured her ankle before Friday’s night party.

Superior Court Judge Jackie Shea Brown found probable cause to hold Amy Brown on suspicion of second-degree murder or first-degree manslaughter.

Bail was set at $100,000.

Amanda Hill1
Amanda L. Hill

Prosecutor Andy Miller said Brown has ties to the community, family support and no criminal history.

He said ordinarily a defendant with those factors would not be considered a threat to community safety, but that’s with a different crime.

Brown is facing a lengthy sentence with either a manslaughter or a murder charge, and this was “a crime of violence she committed with one of her weapons,” Miller said.

Brown operates a small business, A+B Farm, with fiancé Brandon Fayard, making soap, lip balm, body butter and scrubs. She describes herself on the website as a stay-at-home mom caring for five boys, including Fayard’s children.

Fayard and her parents were in court to support Brown on Monday.

Her attorneys opted to hold off on arguing for a lower bail. Her family contacted lawyer Jim Egan, but have not yet hired him, so the court appointed defense attorneys Megan Whitmire and Caleb DiPeso.

Prosecutors have until Wednesday afternoon to charge Brown or release her.

We’re all a bit shocked right now. We would just like justice. … We’re praying for (Brown’s) family, as well.

Pamela Grant, Hill’s aunt

Hill grew up in the Covington/Maple Valley area and moved to Prosser sometime in the last 1 1/2 years with a former boyfriend, said her aunt Pamela Grant, who lives in North Carolina.

Grant said Hill and Brown knew each other from working together at Love’s Travel Stop in Prosser.

Grant described Hill as strong-willed, determined and trusting, and said her niece was trying to make a better life for herself and her son, who was her whole life.

“We’re all a bit shocked right now,” Grant told the Herald. “We would just like justice. … We’re praying for (Brown’s) family, as well.”

Brown spoke with sheriff’s detectives after her arrest early Saturday.

She said she and Fayard invited Hill and her boyfriend over about 8 p.m. Friday. The four went into a camper on the property and had drinks, while Brown’s youngest son played video games in the house, court documents said.

Brown said the celebration went past midnight, at which point Fayard left to get some sleep before work the next day, documents said.

Hill then went into the house to use the bathroom, leaving Brown and her boyfriend in the trailer. Brown followed about 20 minutes later.

She said that’s when she saw Hill in bed with Fayard and yelled at them, before going onto the back porch to have a cigarette, she told investigators.

Brown claimed that about 45 seconds later, Hill came out and pushed her from behind, causing her to land on her stomach. She said after she turned over, Hill straddled her and grabbed her face, pushing it down, documents said.

Brown told detectives she was able to get up, open the door of her Cadillac Escalade and grab her .38 Smith & Wesson Special.

She claimed she told Hill to “get off,” but Hill proceeded to put her hands around Brown’s throat, court documents said.

Brown said she could breathe and did not feel that her life was in jeopardy, but she still fired two shots, documents said.

Hill then allegedly yelled, “What the f---! Are you crazy?”

Brown said she tried to help her bleeding friend by applying pressure to the wounds in her torso, while also yelling for Fayard to call 911. Dispatchers got the call at 12:45 a.m.

Investigators got a search warrant Saturday morning to draw Brown’s blood. The results of her blood-alcohol level are not yet back from the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab.

An autopsy for Hill is planned Tuesday.

Kristin M. Kraemer: 509-582-1531, @KristinMKraemer

  Comments