Parents Accuse AA of Harboring a Predator
LOS ANGELES (CN) - Grieving parents say in court that their daughter was murdered by her sociopathic addict boyfriend because Alcoholics Anonymous concealed his history of domestic violence.
Eric Allen Earle allegedly strangled 31-year-old Karla Brada to death on Aug. 31, 2011, after Brada asked him to move out of her condo in Santa Clarita. After the murder, Earle reportedly spent the night sleeping next to Brada and called the authorities when he found her unresponsive in the morning.
Brada's parents, Hector Mendez and Jaroslava Mendez, say Earle had been jailed for beating Brada just before the murder.
His friends, Patrick and Joanne Frye, allegedly coerced Brada into bailing him out.
Brada reportedly dropped the charges against Earle, and authorities were unable to prosecute him, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Mendezes say that the Frys conspired "to aid and assist Earle in financially and physically abusing" and "ultimately murdering" Brada.
They also sued two attorneys who allegedly represented the Earle, saying those individuals and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department knew of Earle's violent past and could have prevented their daughter's untimely death.
Brada "suffered horribly" before she died, according to the complaint.
An autopsy report allegedly revealed that Brada had more than 30 cuts and bruises on her body.
Patrick Fry and Earle may have done jail time together, Fry sponsored Earle at the Santa Clarita AA that they both attended, according to the complaint.
"Fry immediately violated the few rules AA has by serving as a 'sponsor' for a female, Karla," the 26-page complaint states. "He also violated an AA rule by meeting at the same time with both Earle and Karla right at the time that Earle had severely beaten Karla and had been arrested for possible domestic violence."
The Mendezes say that AA showed a "reckless disregard for, and deliberate indifference ... to the safety and security of victims attending AA meetings who are repeatedly preyed on at these meetings by financial, violent, and sexual predators like Earle."
AA has known for years that meetings "are repeatedly used by financial, sexual, and violent predators as a means to locate victims," according to the lawsuit in Superior Court.
But nevertheless the organization has no "specific policies and guidelines concerning conduct of so-called 'sponsors'" and does little to supervise them.
Earle was formally charged for the murder of Brada in January 2011, almost three months after the autopsy report, the Mendezes say.
"AA is so lax that as soon as Earle murdered Karla he took up with another woman whom he met at AA, [nonparty] Amy Porter ('Porter') who is now being financially exploited by Earle," the complaint states. "Porter is financing Earle's legal defense on the charge of Karla's murder. Earle becomes quickly 'engaged' with his victims and proposes marriage although on information and belief he has never obtained a judgment of dissolution from his wife."
After Brada's death, attorney Carey Curuso used $2,000 Brada had paid the lawyer to defend Earle against charges that he kicked in a window on a sheriff's patrol car, the parents say.
The Mendezes sued Earle; the Frys; Curoso; Santa Clarita Alcoholics Anonymous; Alcoholics Anonymous World Services; the County of Los Angeles; and detectives Eduardo Hernandez, Juan Carrillo, Raymond Lugo and Joe Ramirez.
David Kestenbaum, an attorney who represented Earle against domestic violence charges against Brada, is also named as a defendant.
The couple seeks punitive damages for wrongful death, conversion of money and property, professional negligence, violation of equal protection rights under the 14th Amendment, Monell violation, and Bane Act violation.
They are represented by Patricia Barry.
Alcoholics Anonymous World Services declined to comment.