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Two charged with first-degree murder in death of Pierce County sheriff’s deputy

TACOMA, Wash. — Frank Pawul, 32, and Brenda Troyer, 52, were each charged Thursday with first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping in a home robbery that led to the death of Pierce County sheriff’s deputy Daniel McCartney.

Pawul was also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm.

Bail was set at $5 million for Pawul and at $2 million for Troyer.

On the kidnapping charge, the court documents state that Pawul and Troyer did "intentionally abduct a person" during the robbery, but did not explain who was abducted. And the sheriff's department said a day earlier that Troyer left the scene before Deputy McCartney even arrived.

From left, Frank Pawul and Brenda Troyer

On the night of January 7, residents at a mobile home in Frederickson reported to 911 dispatch that there were intruders in their home. Three adults and two children were present when the intrusion occurred. Residents reported that two suspects broke into the home and demanded money. Both were wearing masks and were armed with handguns and Bowie-style knives.

Sheriff's deputy McCartney responded, alone, to the scene and radioed that he was chasing the suspects on foot. He then called out "shots fired!" And he wasn't heard on the radio again.

McCartney died from a bullet wound through the neck. The sheriff's office said the body of one suspect, identified as Henry Carden, was found near the deputy's body. The sheriff's office said Carden died from a gunshot wound to the head, either self-inflicted or by accident.

The next morning, police found the second suspect, identified as Pawul, who they said had been hiding in the area all night.

The sheriff's office later arrested Troyer and accused her of being the suspects' getaway driver; she allegedly fled the scene before sheriff's deputies arrived. Text messages between Pawul and Troyer showed the two talking about Troyer picking him up, the police containment and news about the shooting of McCartney and Carden, the sheriff's office said.