A mum was celebrating her birthday when she walked in on her fiancé and friend in bed together – and became so angry she later shot and killed her pal.
Amy Brown was celebrating her 36th birthday with her fiancé Brandon Fayard, her friend Amanda Hill, 35, and Amanda’s boyfriend, Ben.
The friends were celebrating outside in a camper van that was parked next to a house in Prosser, Washington State, reports Mirror Online.
Brandon decided to go to bed, not long after, Amanda went in to use the bathroom.
After 20 minutes passed Brown went in to see what was taking her friend so long and discovered her in bed with her fiancé.
It was the night of February 9, 2018. Laughter and chatter rang out into the street as they celebrated together and brought in the weekend. They were outside so they didn’t disturb Brown’s son, who was inside the house playing computer games.
Engaged couple Brown and Brandon ran a small business together called A+B Farm, that made soap, lip balm, body butter and scrubs. On their website, Brown also described herself as a stay-at-home mum, caring for her two boys from a previous relationship and Brandon’s three sons.
Brown had met Amanda when they both worked in a local travel shop together years earlier. Amanda had a teenage son and the two women had bonded over motherhood and a shared loved of crafting.
Determined to make a better life for her son, Amanda was strong-willed and hard-working. Brown was the same, which is why the pair were such good friends. Liking the same things would have seemed like a blessing but it would end up being their curse.
As the birthday night wore on, the clock struck midnight and Brandon told the group he was going back into the house to get to bed as he was planning on working the next day.
He said his goodbyes and headed in, leaving the remaining friends to carry on with the celebrations. Not long after, Amanda went inside to use the bathroom and was seemingly gone for a suspiciously long time.
Something made Brown go into the house 20 minutes later and when she got there, she made a shocking discovery. She found her friend in bed with her fiancé Brandon.
The betrayal fuelled an almighty argument and eventually Brown stormed off in a rage to have a cigarette outside and to finish her drink. It hadn’t been the birthday she’d planned to say the least. Amanda followed her downstairs.
Not long afterwards, at around 12.45am, two loud gunshots could be heard. They echoed around the streets in the still night air. A horrified Brandon ran outside and found Brown cradling a bleeding Amanda in her arms.
Amanda had been shot twice in the torso. Brandon called 911 and so did several neighbours who had heard the commotion and the gun fire that had followed.
When the emergency services arrived, they took Brown to one side and started working on Amanda to assess her injuries. But it quickly became clear that there was nothing they could do. Amanda was declared dead. How had the birthday turned into a bloodbath? Who had shot Amanda?
As part of the investigation, Brown was taken in for questioning and quickly admitted that she’d shot and killed her friend. But she insisted it had been self-defence because Amanda had attacked her.
Shaken up, she described how she had found her friend and fiancé in bed together and that after yelling and swearing at them, she’d gone outside for a smoke and more drink. The discovery was obviously devastating.
Brown said that Amanda had come downstairs shortly afterwards and had attacked her from behind, which had sent Brown hurtling to the ground.
‘She knocked me on my face, and I turned around and she was trying to, like, choke me,’ Brown was recorded saying. She described Amanda having her hands on her face and neck. ‘I felt like she was trying to choke me,’ she continued.
Brown went on to explain that she’d managed to break free and scramble over to her parked Cadillac Escalade car and grab a .38-calibre revolver that was stashed in the door.
‘I grabbed it and I pulled it out and I was like, “Get off me,” and she wouldn’t get off of me so I fired,’ Brown admitted. ‘I fired two shots and when I fired two shots, she [shouted], “Amy, what the f***? Are you crazy?’’’ Then she noticed Amanda bleeding heavily.
Officers' accounts did match her explanation that they had found Brown holding her dying friend, trying to stop the bleeding. Brown insisted that when she realised what she’d done, she’d immediately put pressure on the wound and screamed for Brandon to call 911. ‘And I kept the pressure on until police pulled me off of her,’ Brown said.
Brown insisted that she had fired in self-defence but when asked whether she thought Amanda was going to harm her, or whether she felt like her life was in danger, she admitted she didn’t feel like it was.
So why had she used such excessive force in response? And if she didn’t feel as though Amanda was a threat to her, why deliberately get a gun?
Having just been betrayed by her friend, it felt more like it was an act of passion rather than self-defence. Brown was angry at Amanda and reaching for a gun had been an aggressive move.
Brown was charged with killing her friend and was eventually released on bail after five days in prison, to await her trial. She had no criminal history and Brandon and her family continued to support her.
But a woman was dead – and a son had lost his mum. Amanda’s devastated family were left reeling that she had been killed and at the hands of a woman who was supposed to be her friend.
Co-workers at the clothing store where Amanda worked held a small memorial where they released colourful balloons with messages on, all written to the victim they had affectionately nicknamed ‘Snickers’. ‘We would just like justice…’
Amanda’s aunt said. ‘We’re praying for [Brown’s] family, as well.’ At the trial this year, prosecutors said that Brown had flown into a jealous rage when she found her fiancé and friend in bed together and had shot Amanda twice in the torso in an act of anger.
They said that she was guilty of murder as Brown had admitted she didn’t feel like her life was in danger when she reached for a gun and shot her friend – twice.
Brown continued to claim that Amanda had attacked her first. Pushing her from behind down to the ground, straddling her and grabbing at her face and throat. She said she’d retaliated in self-defence.
The court were shown the recording of the police interview that Brown did after shooting Amanda. Brown was clearly emotional hearing it played back. That was her version of events, but Amanda was no longer alive to give her side of the story
In the end, the jury deliberated for less than three hours and in March this year, Brown, now 38, was found guilty of second-degree murder. Brown was seen sobbing uncontrollably, visibly upset as she was convicted.
After being free on bail for two years, she was taken back into custody following the verdict and in June, she faced her sentencing.
Her lawyers said that Brown’s act that night hadn’t been planned and until then, she had been a law-abiding citizen. There were many letters from loved ones and those in the community that had been written in support of Brown.
But Brown had used deadly force when it really wasn’t necessary. No matter what Amanda had done, she didn’t deserve to die.
The judge sentenced Brown to 15 years in prison. Brown felt betrayed over the discovery she’d made that night, but she should have just walked away. Amy betrayed her friend far more by taking her life.