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Family hoped Brossard just left bad marriage

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Janine Anderson - The Journal Times
August 21, 2009
— A woman murdered 12 years ago was a very private person, her family said, which fed their hope for years that she had just walked away from a bad marriage.

Dawn Brossard disappeared Oct. 24, 1997. Her body was found at the bottom of Geneva Lake six years later.


Her husband, David Brossard, 40, was charged with the crime last year. He is on trial for the murder in Walworth County Court, and his trial is expected to last at least through next week.


The couple lived in Burlington when Dawn disappeared. David Brossard still resides there.


“She was very independent and liked to solve her own problems,” testified Judith Marcell, Dawn’s mother. “When Dawn didn’t come home, we thought she’d had enough and left.”


The family put up posters and made a plea on television for information about Dawn’s whereabouts. They gave something of Dawn’s to a psychic, Marcell said.


The family also stood at the gates of Chicago’s Soldier Field during a memorial service for Walter Payton, a favorite football player of Dawn’s, Marcell said.


“I thought if she was anywhere around she would go to that event,” Marcell testified. “We gathered some people together. I had called the security at Soldier Field. They said they would let us man the gates to look for her. ... We did that and of course didn’t see her.”


One possible reason the family believed Dawn left her life willingly was that David reportedly refused to divorce. Marcell testified the family liked David and hoped the couple would go to counseling.


Dawn apparently was the one unwilling to do so.


Dawn’s sister and mother also testified about a pregnancy Dawn hid from them for about seven years.


“That Dawn had had a baby, was that news to you?” defense attorney Charles Blumenfield asked Dawn’s sister, Christine Jensen.


“Yes and no,” answered Jensen. “At the time she was pregnant she was living home with my parents. ... I confronted her, specifically confronted her that she looked pregnant, to make sure she was getting medical attention and that her and the baby were healthy. She vehemently denied being pregnant. She told me it was an ovarian cyst.


“I found out shortly thereafter, in pharmacy school, found out that if she had one that size and it ruptured, she would be dead. I knew she was lying. I confronted her with it and she would not admit she’d had a child."


That Dawn had given birth was confirmed when her body was autopsied, Jensen said.


Marcell said she picked her daughter up from the hospital the day the family believes she had the baby. At the time, Marcell also had been told her daughter had an ovarian cyst.


The family had no idea who the father of Dawn’s child was, Marcell testified, and the family has never contacted the child.


“I believe my husband found out the name of the baby,” Marcell said during questioning by Blumenfield.


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When a bartender testified in the Dawn Brossard murder trial Thursday that he’d heard her talk about a death threat from her husband, David, the defense accused prosecutors of withholding information and asked for a mistrial.


On the stand, bartender William Kandziora said Dawn Brossard came in for lunch the day she disappeared and told him the night before she’d found “her wedding dress was laid out on the bed with a shotgun across it. She said (David Brossard said) ‘This is how they’re going to find you if you leave me.’"


David Brossard’s attorney then moved for a mistrial and accused prosecutors of purposely keeping information from him, a violation of state law.


Walworth County District Attorney Phil Koss said he only found Kandziora last week and that the statement surprised him as well.


For Koss to say he didn’t know about Kandziora or how to find him is “absolute garbage,” said defense attorney Charles Blumenfield.


“It’s an amazing statement from experienced counsel,” Blumenfield added.


After hearing that, Koss interjected: “You think that I’m lying?”


Blumenfield kept going: “I don’t doubt he’s being truthful, but being truthful, it’s still an amazing statement.”


Judge James Carlson did not declare a mistrial, but he ordered the statements stricken from the record and admonished the jury not to consider it.



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