Blonde, beautiful and ambitious,
Kim Anderson never had any trouble finding success or successful men.
In fact, by the time she was 34,
Kim had been married to two of them, and had given birth to two
children by each.
Her second husband, Brent
Anderson, was a successful divorce attorney from the nearby town of
Shortly after the birth of her
fourth child, Kim's marriage to Brent began to falter. Brent filed for
divorce in October of 2000, and a bitter custody battled ensued.
Just a few days before the
divorce was to be final, Kim called 911 and told police that she had
shot her husband. Cops found Brent lying dead in a bedroom closet with
eight bullets in him.
According to Kim, when she
confronted her husband about his alleged molestation of their son, he
became enraged and lunged at her. She claimed she instinctively picked
up her handgun and shot.
At trial, her attorneys argued
she had acted in self-defense. But, prosecutors argued that the
shooting was premeditated, pointing out that Kim had never claimed
spousal abuse during the divorce proceedings.
In a controversial verdict, the
jury acquitted Kim of all charges in the killing. Brent's family sued
her in civil court and the civil jury didn't believe she was in
imminent danger at the time of the shooting. They ordered her to pay
$540,000 to her husband's family.
Kimberly S. Anderson
Case Style: Estate and Family of
Brent Anderson v. Kimberly Anderson
Court: Court of Common Please,
Franklin County, Ohio
The Estate and Family of Brent Anderson sued
Kimberly Anderson for the wrongful death of Mr. Anderson, who was shot
eight times by Ms. Anderson at their home in Wapakoneta in September
2001. Ms. Anderson claimed that she was defending herself from her
estranged husband who, she claimed, was threatenting her.
Outcome: Plaintiffs, verdict for
Anderson family refiles
wrongful death suit
By Shelley Grieshop - The Daily Standard
August 29, 2003
The family of Brent Anderson has
refiled a civil lawsuit seeking monetary compensation for the shooting
death of their son in September 2001.
The family seeks “vindication”
for Brent Anderson, a former Celina attorney, “and seeks to hold
Kimberly Anderson accountable for the killing,” reads a statement to
the media from the family’s attorney, Dale K. Perdue of Columbus.
“Brent’s family cannot permit the
one-sided story presented at the criminal trial to be Brent’s final
legacy,” Perdue told The Daily Standard on Thursday. “They want the
record set straight that Brent was a kind, sensitive and caring man
who did not deserve to be gunned down in the prime of his life.”
Brent Anderson’s wife, Kimberly
Anderson, 38, of Wapakoneta was acquitted of a trio of murder charges
during a seven-day criminal trial in Defiance County in October 2002.
Neither she nor her attorney, Rob C. Wiesenmayer of Wapakoneta,
returned calls from The Daily Standard seeking comment on the recent
Perdue’s media release also
states: “Family members believe the jury acted on sympathy, not on the
facts. ... the jury saw a mother of four children and simply could not
bring themselves to convict Kimberly Anderson.”
The civil lawsuit claims Kimberly
Anderson shot Brent Anderson intentionally to end his life. A period
of time elapsed between the first non-fatal bullet fired upon Brent
Anderson and the seven subsequent shots, it states.
“During this time, the decedent
(deceased) was in mortal fear for his life and experienced physical
pain, suffering and severe mental anguish,” Perdue wrote.
The family filed a similar
lawsuit weeks after the shooting, but dismissed it in March, citing
personal reasons. Perdue beat the court deadline to refile the suit by
The recent lawsuit lists Brent
Anderson’s brother, Kevin Anderson of Cincinnati, as plaintiff. The
lawsuit seeks a total in excess of $50,000 and “special, compensatory
and punitive damages” on behalf of the couple’s children, Erik, 5, and
Ryan, 3, Brent Anderson’s daughter from a previous relationship,
Justine, 14, as well as Brent Anderson’s parents and siblings.
Brent Anderson was the son of
Warren and Betty Anderson of Celina. He also is survived by four
brothers and five sisters.
Kimberly Anderson has retained
custody of the couple’s two children, as well as two other children
from a previous marriage, since the shooting two years ago.
Throughout the trial last fall,
Kimberly Anderson testified that she argued with her estranged husband
that Labor Day weekend after telling him she suspected he had molested
one of the children. She said he chased her into an upstairs bedroom
where she shot him eight times in self-defense.
The recently filed lawsuit
counters Kimberly Anderson’s claims of self-defense. Perdue states
evidence at the trial shows Brent Anderson was never physically
violent or abusive during the couple’s three-year marriage. He also
notes Kimberly Anderson had both a telephone and a loaded gun when she
pursued her unarmed husband into a walk-in closet after already
wounding him with the first shot in the bedroom area.
In May, Kimberly Anderson filed a
motion to seal all records relating to the criminal case. Her
attorney, Alan Konop of Toledo, argued that his client was trying to
“get on with her life” and deserved her right to privacy.
Perdue notified the court in a
letter objecting to the motion on the grounds he intended to refile
the civil suit and would seek access to all information and evidence
in the case.
On Aug. 8, Auglaize County Common
Pleas Judge Frederick Pepple denied the expungement of Kimberly
Anderson’s records and upheld the right of public access to
information in the high-profile case.
Kimberly Anderson feels
Wapak woman ready to resume
family life after murder acquittal
By Shelley Grieshop - The Daily
October 30, 2002
During a birthday party Tuesday
evening for her 3-year-old son, Kimberly Anderson said it struck her
how very blessed she was.
"If it had been the Lord's will
to send me to prison, I would have accepted it and I was ready," she
said. "But as I watched Ryan blow out his candles, it occurred to me
that things could have been very different, he might be celebrating
without his mommy."
It was two weeks ago today, when
12 Defiance County jurors acquitted Anderson, 38, of aggravated
murder, murder and voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of her
husband Brent Anderson on Sept. 2, 2001. She maintained that she shot
the Celina attorney in an act of self-defense to protect herself and
the couple's children who were present in the rural Wapakoneta home
the day she shot him.
During an interview this morning
with The Daily Standard, Anderson spoke frankly about many aspects of
her life before the shooting, after her arrest and now.
"There are no winners here, I
loved Brent, too. He was fun-loving, a real charming guy. That's why I
fell in love with him," she said. "I never meant to take his life, I
just meant to stop him from taking ours."
Since the trial, Anderson said
the constant nightmares she experienced following the shooting have
disappeared and so have the negative messages she had received
periodically through cards and letters.
"I've gotten flowers and cards
from people I don't even know who sympathized with me and what
happened," Anderson said.
A safety plan put into place the
day of the shooting was terminated two days after the trial and
Anderson now may spend time with all her children without supervision.
"It was uncomfortable," she said
describing the months she was not able to be alone with her own
She also called it a blessing
that she was not jailed immediately after shooting her husband of two
years. She considers herself lucky to have not been separated from her
children as most parents typically are following an incident so
serious, she said. She feels she was free from the beginning because
she was honest with authorities.
"I told them exactly what
happened that day and they believed me that the shooting occurred in
self-defense," she said. "I had no motive, nothing to gain from his
She said at one point, hours
after the shooting, her father tried to warn her that "they might keep
you," meaning she may be jailed yet that night for her husband's
death. She said she responded, "I haven't done anything wrong."
Anderson said she feels pressure
from the surrounding communities and Brent Anderson's family and
friends was what stirred the Auglaize County Prosecutor's Office to
file charges against her.
"It was very political," she
She cites her faith in God as the
sole factor that kept her going during the last year after she was
indicted in December 2001. When asked if she felt she "got religious"
from the whole experience and is now touting God instead of providing
answers, she replied:
"I've been a Christian since I
was a child, but like anyone else I turned to God when I needed help,"
she explained. "I've seen God's hand in my life and he's been
protecting us all along."
Anderson came close to offering a
plea bargain during the jury's seven-hour deliberation. At one point,
jurors asked the judge to give them a definition for preponderance,
which indicated the seven women and five men were closely examining
the two most serious charges of aggravated murder and murder.
"Alan (Konop, her defense
attorney) said, as my attorney, he needed to tell me it might be wise
to offer the prosecution a plea right now," she said. "I told him all
12 jurors will have to decide that I'm guilty and I am not going to
make the decision to send myself to prison."
Anderson said Auglaize County
Prosecutor Ed Pierce was standing next to Konop, ready to discuss a
plea bargain that may have sent her to prison for six months, when she
firmly said "no."
Kimberly Anderson said she has
sympathy for the loss felt by the Brent Anderson family, but she
doesn't think they understand what was happening to Brent the months
before his death.
"He was mentally ill. I felt he
had a mood disorder and I had tried to get him to go to counseling for
it," she said. "He didn't have any coping skills."
She believes his family and
friends may feel guilty because they, too, were not able to get him
help for his depression.
She claimed she probably didn't
know Brent at all during their short marriage, and that he told her
many untruths during the last three years of his life. She firmly
believes, as she testified in court, that he was abusing their
children. She testified repeatedly that she confronted him that Labor
Day weekend afternoon about her suspicions of child abuse, and that is
what started the incident. She claimed he chased her upstairs in a fit
of rage to stop her from making the sexual abuse claims public and
ruining his career as an attorney.
"Before that day, I really didn't
think that it (abuse suspicions) was true, but after Erik said it in
front of Brent and I saw Brent's reaction, I realized he was a
desperate man," Kimberly Anderson said.
She said the couple's children,
Ryan, 3, and Erik, now 4, were both on the first level of the home
when Brent Anderson chased her upstairs to the master bedroom where
she fired the first shot. When she fled the room after firing seven
more shots into Brent Anderson's body in a walk-in closet, she could
not immediately find Erik who was hiding in the living room.
"I said, 'Run Erik,' and grabbed
Ryan at the bottom of the steps," she said. She found Erik and the
three made their way outside where she called 911.
Anderson said the children know
what happened that day and continue in counseling just as she has.
"They know I shot Daddy with a
real gun and he is in heaven. They saw his rage that day and knew he
was bad," she said.
During the yearlong pending
divorce proceedings, Kimberly Anderson's attorney warned Brent
Anderson and his divorce attorney that she was considering the filing
of a restraint order to keep him away from her. She also said she
discussed using children's services to exchange the children for
visitation to avoid any confrontations. She said Brent Anderson
refused, fearing he would be disbarred if a protection order was
issued against him. He also did not want to face the embarrassment of
exchanging his children through a third party, she said.
A wrongful death civil lawsuit
filed by Brent Anderson's brother, Kevin Anderson of Cincinnati, in
Auglaize County Common Pleas Court remains pending against Kimberly
Anderson. Kevin Anderson also is seeking custody of his two young
nephews, an action Kimberly Anderson said she doesn't understand.
"None of the Andersons had a bond
with my children before. Why they want them now, I don't understand,"
she said. "Is it for the best interest of my children or to hurt me?"
Kimberly Anderson said her days
are brighter now even though she cannot return to her job with Lincare
of Lima, where she was a practicing respiratory therapist. She was
placed on paid leave for three weeks by Lincare following the
shooting, and then terminated "because of the publicity to the
office," Anderson said she was told.
She now is turning her hobby of
faux painting into a career. Court and attorney fees were phenomenal,
but her parents have helped out with those expenses, she admitted.
Kimberly Anderson said she
believes the truth is in front of everyone now and it is up to each
individual to believe it or not. As for her, she believes she did what
she had to do to defend her family.
"Brent died at my hands and I
have to deal with that," she said.
Brent Anderson's family
has own view
By Shelley Grieshop - The Daily
October 30, 2002
Brent Anderson's sister responded
this morning to statements made by Kimberly Anderson during an
interview with The Daily Standard.
Pam Anderson of Connecticut,
Brent Anderson's older sister, acted as spokesperson for her family.
Concerning the statement Kimberly
Anderson made saying she had no motive to kill her husband, Pam
"By Kim's own account of the day
of the shooting, she confronted Brent with accusations of child
molestation. I believe that it's reasonable to assume that it wasn't
just Brent who might have had his emotions aroused on that day. The
difference between Kim and Brent (that day) was that Kim had a gun and
Brent didn't. It had been a long and difficult divorce with a
near-constant battle over custody and finances."
Pam Anderson also commented on
Kimberly Anderson's statement that she never meant to kill her
husband. If she had the phone and the gun, why, Pam Anderson asked,
didn't she just call the police?
"Brent's body was found in a
kneeling/sitting position slumped against the wall of a closet. I
challenge Kim to give a clear public step-by-step account of exactly
how Brent came to be in a closet with at least eight bullet wounds
from Kim's gun, if he was the aggressor in the alleged argument."
Kimberly Anderson referred to her
husband as having a mental illness. Pam Anderson said her brother
underwent a psychological evaluation during the custody suit and was
found well within the normal range.
"The courts found him healthy
enough to award him joint custody of his two children (during the
couple's separation). In addition to that, at the time of his death he
was a practicing attorney, working every day with judges and other
attorneys in the Mercer County court system. Surely somebody other
than Kim would have noticed (if he had a mental problem at that
Kimberly Anderson said charges
were brought against her because of pressure from Brent's family and
the community. Pam Anderson said it was the letter of the law that
caused Kimberly Anderson to be charged.
"Kim was indicted by an Auglaize
County grand jury. Brent's family and friends couldn't influence the
grand jury because they had no way of knowing who was serving on that
jury. The grand jury indicts on the basis of evidence that is put
before it. Kim had an opportunity to testify before the grand jury and
they heard her version of events, but they still indicted her."
Auglaize County Prosecutor Ed
Pierce also was contacted by The Daily Standard, but was unavailable
for comment at press time today.
Wife shoots hubby for child abuse
Doctor warned Anderson against confrontation, didn't report sex
By John Fike - LimaNews.com
October 12, 2002
DEFIANCE - A Lima doctor did not report to Auglaize
County Children Services when Kimberly Anderson told him that her son
might have been sexually abused.
Dr. Wilfred Ellis was one of 13 witnesses to take
the stand Friday in the trial of Anderson, who is accused of murdering
her estranged husband, Brent Anderson. Brent Anderson was shot and
killed Sept. 2, 2001, in rural Wapakoneta. Anderson faces charges of
aggravated murder, murder and voluntary manslaughter. The trial was
moved to Defiance to ensure an impartial jury.
Ellis told jurors he had a phone conversation with
Kimberly Anderson the night before the shooting. Anderson said her
3-year-old son had told her that his dad, Brent Anderson, put mustard
on his penis and licked it off. Ellis said he advised Kimberly
Anderson to take the child to his pediatrician on Tuesday, after Labor
Day, and also told her not to confront Brent Anderson on the issue.
Anderson testified Thursday that she confronted Brent Anderson about
it because she couldn't believe the allegation was true.
As a doctor, Ellis is required by state law to
report instances of alleged child abuse, he said on the stand. Under
questioning by prosecutors, Ellis said he did not report what he heard
Anderson. He argued he was not required to report
the story because he heard it from Kimberly Anderson rather than the
victim, her son, and because he is not the child's physician.
"I had no way of knowing the truth of the
accusation," Ellis said. He said he was acting properly in referring
Kimberly Anderson to the child's pediatrician. "I do have an
obligation to make sure the situation is properly worked up."
Ellis also said that, unbeknownst to Kimberly
Anderson that night, Brent Anderson had been calling his office
"making insinuations that weren't true." Ellis said he didn't want to
get in the middle of their divorce situation.
Ellis, along with his housekeeper Jacqueline
Parent, verified previous testimony that Brent Anderson once posed as
a cable television repairman in an attempt to enter Ellis' house.
Craig Oard, the son of Mike Oard who was a boyfriend of Kimberly
Anderson at the time of the shooting, testified to verify other
witness statements that Brent Anderson pretended to be interested in
buying the Oard's house in order to gain entry. The house was for sale
at the time, Oard said. Oard, Ellis and Parent all said they
recognized Brent Anderson as the intruder or would-be intruder when
they saw his picture in the newspapers after his death.
Kimberly Anderson's mother and former mother- and
sister-in-law took the stand Friday to testify that Anderson was
hysterical and crying when they found her on the lawn of her home
following the shooting.
"She was hysterical, crying, rocking back and forth
with the baby," said Patricia Nester, the mother of Anderson's first
husband. Nester said she lives about an eighth of a mile from the
Anderson house and was the first family member to arrive at the house.
"I asked her what happened. She just looked at me. I asked her what
happened again. She looked at me again and said, 'I shot Brent.'"
Patricia Nester, her daughter Kristin Ann Nester
and Anderson's mother Sue Allen also testified that the Anderson
children had been at the Nesters' house the evening after the
shooting. Kristin Nester changed the diaper of 1-year-old Ryan. That
diaper was later retrieved at the request of a sexual assault nurse
and given to the Auglaize County Sheriff's Office as evidence.
Detective Mike Eberle later testified that a pubic hair was found in
Eberle, Detective Sgt. Dennis White and Deputy
Brent Henschen each took the witness stand for the second time this
week on Friday. Under questioning by defense attorney Alan Konop, the
officers testified that Kimberly Anderson told each of them about
alleged child abuse by Brent Anderson in statements made the day of
the shooting. The Auglaize County officers did not mention Anderson
reporting the abuse or saying she confronted her husband about it
during testimony under prosecutors' questioning earlier in the week.
Konop's questioning also revealed that Eberle
collected a full-size bed sheet from a crib in Brent Anderson's
apartment 24 days after the shooting. Eberle said the sheet, which was
crumpled up in the crib, had semen stains on it. Another sheet that
appeared to match the semen-stained sheet was also found at the
apartment but was not collected, he said.
Although Kimberly Anderson testified Thursday that
she struggled with Brent Anderson as she shot him, Eberle said Friday
that Anderson never mentioned the struggle in her report to police
that afternoon. His testimony was backed up by that of Lynn Miller,
the director of the Wapakoneta rescue squad. Miller was at the scene
that day. Miller said Anderson did not have any blood stains,
scratches or other physical signs of a struggle.
Patricia Knippen of Auglaize County Children
Services testified Friday that she interviewed Kimberly Anderson the
night of the shooting. Knippen took her and her two boys to Joint
Township District Memorial Hospital so the boys could be examined for
signs of sexual abuse. She also said that the sexual assault nurse at
the hospital recommended getting the diaper that Ryan was wearing when
brought home by his dad as possible evidence. Sue Allen and Kimberly
Anderson brought the diaper to Knippen several days after the shooting
because investigators did not retrieve it.
Ruth Baeumel, the hospital's sexual assault nurse,
testified that she examined the Anderson children for signs of sexual
abuse and no evidence was found.
Kimberly Anderson was hysterical at the scene of
Investigators were asked to retrieve a diaper
1-year-old Ryan Anderson had been wearing, but Anderson and her mother
turned it in after investigators did not retrieve it.
The child's diaper was found to contain a pubic
Kimberly Anderson told investigators at the scene
about allegations that Brent Anderson licked mustard off their child's
Anderson told Dr. Wilfred Ellis about the alleged
sexual abuse the night before the shooting. Ellis warned her against
confronting Brent Anderson and suggested she take the child to a
Ellis did not report the alleged sexual abuse to
children services because he believed it was hearsay and was proper in
referring her to the pediatrician.
Kimberly Anderson showed no signs of struggling
with Brent Anderson during the shooting.