The Death Of Kyle Brennan: an investigative failure
Excerpt from the Deposition of Detective Stephen Bohling<a
The Church of Scientology falsely claims that Victoria Britton has repeatedly stated that her son Kyle was murdered. Not only is this untrue, but it was the defendants themselves who first mentioned in documents that homicide was possibly the cause of Kyle’s death. In the Answer and Affirmative Defenses of Defendant Thomas Brennan it states: “Kyle Brennan’s death was either a suicide or homicide constituting an intervening act.” [ Doc: 53,page 3 of 4]
Victoria Britton, in the few conversations she had with Detective Stephen Bohling, only wanted to find out the truth and to make sense of the numerous inconsistencies surrounding the death of her son. As to the Clearwater Police Department’s investigation, it’s difficult to understand how anyone could think that it was thorough or well-handled. When Officer Jonathan Yuen—the first policeman at the crime scene—was asked, for example, to describe his interview with Thomas Brennan, he stated: “A short, short period of time. Anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes, I would say.” [Exhibit 18, Doc. 123, Page 11, Lines 13–14, Page ID 1817] When asked whether he had further involvement in the investigation, he answered “No.” Asked if he discussed the matter with Detective Bohling, he said “No.” (Exhibit 18, Doc: 123 page ID 1818 page 15 lines 18-24) So, in other words, the public is supposed to consider it comprehensive and thorough police work when a responding officer interviews the most important person at the crime scene for only 20 minutes, never returns to the crime scene, simply hands over his report to the detective taking over the investigation—a detective who, it must be said, never visits the crime scene—and then destroys the notes of that first important interview?( Exhibit 1, Doc:119 Page ID 1542 Page 9 lines 23-25 Page 10 line 1) ( Exhibit 1, Doc: 119 Page ID 1579 Page 158 lines 17-23) Consider that question along with the following information: Brennan’s .357 Magnum was found near Kyle’s body, but the police never found the bullet that killed Kyle. (Exhibit 18 Doc: 123 Page Id 1826 page 48 lines 1-6) They did not find the box of ammunition for the .357. (Exhibit1 Doc: 123 Page ID 1563 page 93 lines 25 Page 94 lines 1-8) And they did not find Kyle’s laptop—it had been removed from the apartment before they arrived. (Exhibit 1 Doc: 123, Page ID 1547 page 31 lines 11-16) Kyle’s fingerprints were nowhere to be found on over 14 separate pieces of evidence at the scene including the weapon and 10 rounds of ammunition. (CWPR SEC: 1 Doc: 170-1 Page 83) Forensic Investigator Jennifer McCabe and Medical Investigator Marti Scholl arrived at the scene shortly after Yuen. McCabe swapped Kyle’s hands for a Gun Shot Residue (GSR) test to see if Kyle had pulled the trigger on the .357, but Bohling later blocked processing of the GSR, and lied to Kyle’s family telling them that the GSR test had not been done. (Exhibit 1 Doc:119 Page ID 1590 page 202 lines 1-9) Without fingerprints, without the bullet, and without a GSR test it is impossible to determine whether Kyle’s death was actually a suicide—and yet a suicide is what it was ruled. Without this important evidence it’s also impossible to determine whether Brennan’s .357 was used to kill Kyle. This we’re supposed to consider a well-run police investigation? This is what passes for thorough police work in the state of Florida?
The defendant’s claim that Victoria Britton complaints to the Justice Department and the FBI were because she was unsatisfied with the conclusions of the Clearwater Police Department in charging Thomas Brennan with a crime have been fabricated by the defendant’s . The truth is that the complaints were filed because of concern that her son’s death was not being investigated properly. In the deposition of Stephen Bohling he stated “There was a call to the Justice Department, and I believe the FBI to follow up on, that, you know basically that I was not doing my job and they believed that the case should be turned over to someone else. (Exhibit 1 Doc:119 Page ID 1551 Page 45 lines 15-22)
“I only wanted to find out the truth and to make sense of the inconsistencies surrounding the death of my son, Detective Bohling was not interested.” (Exhibit 11 Doc: 170-11 Page ID 2711)