Godfrey files claim against shooter's estate

Posted: Friday, April 04, 2003

ANCHORAGE - The widow of former state Public Safety Commissioner Glenn Godfrey wants $2 million from the estate of the woman who shot her husband to death and seriously wounded her last summer.

A probate master will consider later this month whether the $2 million claim by Patricia Godfrey can proceed against the estate of Karen Brand, the woman who shot herself after killing Glenn Godfrey and wounding his wife Aug. 3 in the Godfreys' Eagle River home.

Anchorage police say Glenn Godfrey, 53, was ending an affair with Brand, 33, vice president of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce and a former legislative aide.

Brand lived in Anchorage. Her husband, Gregory James Helms, lives in Fairbanks and has been appointed personal representative of Brand's estate.

Helms' duties as personal representative include taking control and possession of Brand's property, determining liabilities, providing notice to creditors, and accepting or rejecting claims. No indication of the size of Brand's estate has been filed.

Godfrey filed a claim Dec. 20. Through Anchorage attorney Russell L. Winner, she is seeking more than $1 million on behalf of herself and more than $1 million on behalf of the estate of Glenn Godfrey.

The claims, each stated in one paragraph, say Brand's estate is liable for Brand's acts against Patricia Godfrey and for a wrongful death.

Winner declined comment on the claims Thursday.

Helms, through his attorney, Edward Niewohner of Fairbanks, denied Godfrey's claim Dec. 27. Niewohner did not immediately return a call Thursday afternoon from The Associated Press.

Godfrey appealed to the Superior Court. A status hearing and a conference for a possible evidentiary hearing is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. April 14 before Probate Master John E. Duggan.

Police say Brand broke into the Godfrey home Aug. 2, hid in a closet and awaited the arrival of the Godfreys from a trip to Seward.

When they arrived at about 11 p.m., they listened to two messages left by Brand on their answering machine and then spent more than an hour in their living room talking.

Glenn Godfrey went downstairs and Patricia Godfrey heard two shots. According to police, Brand walked upstairs, confronted and talked briefly to Patricia Godfrey, then shot her four times and returned downstairs, where she again shot Glenn Godfrey and turned the gun on herself.

Patricia Godfrey was able to call 911, but it took police 48 minutes to find the home. The delay prompted an investigation of the city's emergency dispatch system.

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