News

Prison without parole next stop for wife killer

By ERICA HALL

Staff writer

A former Boeing manager and domestic violence offender has been convicted of the aggravated murder of his ex-girlfriend, Keymhare Germain, 32, and the attempted murder of their 13-year-old daughter Elizabeth Germain in Germain’s Federal Way apartment in August 2002.

Richard Saint Calle, 38, is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 17. An aggravated murder conviction carries a life sentence without the possibility for parole.

After a trial that lasted several weeks, the jury spent a couple hours deliberating the verdict late last month, said Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County prosecutor’s office.

Prosecuting Attorney Norm Maleng declined to seek the death penalty against Saint Calle, saying after reviewing the case that there wasn’t reason to believe there weren’t sufficient mitigating circumstances to merit leniency. He declined to say what the mitigating circumstances were.

Saint Calle’s defense attorney, Don Minor, was unavailable for comment, but deputy prosecutor Timothy Bradshaw said it’s typical for appeals to be filed in aggravated murder convictions.

After weeks of testimony, the prosecution and defense teams wrapped up their closing arguments at the county’s Regional Justice Center in Kent. After the jury left to deliberate, Kirk Saint Calle attacked his father in court, Bradshaw said. It will be up to the Kent city prosecutor to decide whether to file charges.

Meanwhile, victim advocates in the prosecutor’s office will serve as liaisons for counseling services for Kirk Saint Calle and Elizabeth Germain, the daughter Richard Saint Calle was convicted of trying to kill.

Saint Calle had terrorized Keymhare Germain for years –– threatening her, stalking her, beating her up and intimidating her, according to the prosecution.

“Even when he remarried, he’d jealously guard her private life,” Bradshaw said.

According to charging papers, Saint Calle showed up at Germain’s Rainier Meadows apartment in Federal Way on the evening of Aug. 15, 2002.

They argued and fought into the night, according to authorities, and their son, Kirk Saint Calle, went outside to hang out with his friends in the parking lot area of the apartment complex.

When Germain finally told Richard Saint Calle about 1 a.m. she had said yes to a marriage proposal from another man, Saint Calle stormed out the apartment and called Germain’s fiancee on his cell phone to ask if it was true. When the fiancee confirmed it was, Saint Calle told Kirk and his friends that if they valued their lives, they would leave, according to charging papers. Kirk Saint Calle told police he and his friends began banging on neighbors’ doors, asking them to call the police.

Authorities said Saint Calle took a shotgun from his BMW and shot his way through Germain’s lcoked door. Her final attempt to get away led to her death.

“She’d clearly communicated she was done with him and was going to marry another man,” Bradshaw said. “That was unacceptable from his standpoint, that she’d leave and be happy with another man.”

When Saint Calle blasted his way into Germain’s apartment, Elizabeth Germain was the first person he saw. She denied knowing where her mother was, Bradshaw said. Saint Calle shot her twice in the chest and the arm.

In the past, Saint Calle had threatened Elizabeth, saying he’d rather see her dead than grow up to be like her mother, Bradshaw.

Elizabeth Germain lived — after emergency surgery and a lengthy hospital stay — and testified against her father, but she had to take the oath to tell the truth with her left hand. The shotgun blasts to her right arm caused permanent nerve damage.

“She’s a very strong, courageous, bright girl,” Bradshaw said.

After shooting Elizabeth, Saint Calle made his way to the back room, where Germain was on the phone with a 9-1-1 dispatcher, and shot her twice. The sounds of her death were captured on 9-1-1 tapes. Saint Calle then fled in his car.

Responding officers looked up a list of restraining orders filed against Saint Calle to find an address where he might have gone afer shooting Germain. A county sheriff deputy found him at the home of an estranged wife in Renton, sitting in his idling car with the lights off, according to charging papers.

The valid protection order filed against him prohibited Saint Calle from carrying a firearm.

When the deputy turned his patrol car lights on, Saint Calle sped away. Several deputies joined the pursuit, which finally ended when one of the officers forced Saint Calle off the road and he crashed into a gas station, according to police. Saint Calle was arrested and booked at the Regional Justice Center Aug. 15.

Both Kirk Saint Calle and Germain’s fiancee, Jeanis Charles, told police Saint Calle had a history of threats and violence. Charles told police Germain had told him of prior threats Saint Calle had made to kill her.

Kirk Saint Calle told police his father had threatened to kill his ex-wives and a daughter who lived out of state. Six months before the shooting, Kirk said, Saint Calle told Germain he was going to shoot her and attempted to retrieve a shotgun from its case.

On May 29, 1998, Kent Police investigated a car suspiciously pulled over to the side of a remote road. Officers contacted Germain –– who was visibly trembling and upset, with fresh damage to the windshield of her car –– in the car with Saint Calle. Police separated them and Saint Calle got into his own car and proceeded to drive around the officers and Keymhare “something like 20 times,” Bradshaw said, until the officer told him to stop.

Bradshaw said Saint Calle told the officer that Germain would never testify.

On March 20, 1999, Federal Way Police responded to another domestic violence incident. When they arrived, Kirk Saint Calle was in the window waving them upstairs, but when they got to the unit, Germain denied she’d been hit.

Police saws the signs — she’d been crying and there was some redness on her face, but she’d also just come out of the shower, officials said.

Bradshaw said Saint Calle would direct Germain to take showers after their fights because the warm water limited the bruising.

Police again contacted Saint Calle Oct. 29, 2001, when he was arrested for malicious mischief and interfering with reporting to the police.

Bradshaw said there were other incidents, reported and unreported, in which Saint Calle beat Germain, but whenever police arrived, she’d deny he’d laid a hand on her. With the exception of a neighbor who called 9-1-1 in 1997, Kirk Saint Calle was usually the one who called police.

According to Bradshaw, who requested Saint Calle be held on $2 million cash-only bail, Saint Calle also had paid an unannounced visit to a former wife in New Jersey.

“He had some gun issues with the deceased victim and his most recent ex-wives,” he said.

Staff writer Erica Hall: 925-5565, ehall@fedwaymirror.com

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