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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

August 9, 2013 at 11:46 AM

30-year prison term for man who killed Pacific teen with samurai sword

A 20-year-old Algona man was sentenced this morning to 30 years in prison for breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s Pacific apartment last year and killing her 13-year-old brother with a knife and a samurai sword.

Brandon Suhr pleaded guilty in April to first-degree murder with a deadly weapon and first-degree burglary with a deadly weapon, admitting he killed Wally Denesha in Pacific on May 31, 2012.

Police said Suhr broke into the home of his former girlfriend, who was 16 at the time, and fatally stabbed Denesha, hiding the boy’s body in a closet. Suhr then forced the girl to accompany him to his parents’ house, according to police.

The girl’s father called 911 just after 3 a.m. June 1 and reported that both of his children were missing. His wife took the phone while her husband searched the house and discovered blood in an upstairs hallway and in his son’s bedroom, police say.

About 20 minutes later, Suhr’s mother called 911 and reported that her son and the girl had arrived at her house and that the girl told her Suhr had killed her brother and kidnapped her.

After Suhr was arrested, the girl told police she’d watched her brother die, then had fought with Suhr, who allegedly choked her into submission, police said. He forced her to shower and write a note on a whiteboard in the kitchen, claiming responsibility for her brother’s death.

Suhr was apparently upset after the girl had broken up with him, according to police.

Suhr graduated from Auburn Riverside High School in 2011 and owned his own business, Dante’s Design, according to his Facebook page. His business performed a variety of services, including repairing electronics, baking desserts and “high quality rat food,” and buying and selling “rats and reptiles.”

In the weeks before Denesha’s murder, Suhr displayed alarming behavior, according to court records.

Suhr was arrested on May 4, 2012, and charged with disorderly conduct, threats to harm and displaying a weapon. Five days later, he was ordered to undergo an interview with a psychiatric nurse. On May 16, the threats-to-harm charge was dismissed and Suhr pleaded guilty to the other counts; he received a suspended sentence and was ordered to undergo a mental-health evaluation, the records show.

That same month, an Algona woman filed a petition for a vulnerable-adult protection order on behalf of her developmentally disabled son, who was a former classmate of Suhr’s.

In her petition, the woman wrote that Suhr had made himself a key and had begun moving into her son’s apartment; she also alleged Suhr had brought a Taser, large pet snakes, an air gun, swords and a gas can into her son’s apartment. Her petition was granted and Suhr was ordered to stay away from the man.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: homicide, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, Pacific

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