Sheriff's Dept.: Defendant to plead guilty to killing Pierce County deputy, will get life in prison

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TACOMA, Wash. -- Frank Pawul, 32, on Friday will plead guilty to aggravated first-degree murder of Pierce County Deputy Daniel McCartney, who was shot and killed Jan. 7 while investigating a home invasion robbery, sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said Thursday night.

"He will be sentenced immediately afterward to life in prison without the possibility of parole," Troyer said.

Two other co-defendants remain in custody and are awaiting trial.

"With this sentencing, it is intended that Frank Pawul will never be allowed back into the community again," Troyer said in a statement. " Hopefully, that knowledge will bring a small amount of comfort to all of us as we continue to grieve Daniel’s loss.

"Please know there was no reduction in charges in this case.  No deal and no consideration for any other sentence in coming to this resolution," Troyer said.

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 Brenda Troyer, 52, (no relation to Ed 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  Brenda Troyer picking him up, the police containment and news about the shooting of McCartney and Carden, the sheriff's office said.