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2014-12-18

Former Bandera resident pleads to involuntary manslaughter & more

By Phil Conger,

By Phil Conger,
Editor Bethany
Republican-Clipper
Reprinted with permission

(BCC Editor's note: For full coverage of the incident that led to the capture of Kolbee Trammell in Bandera prior to his extradition to Missouri for felony murder, refer to an article titled "County resident arrested for felony murder" in the Sept. 25 edition of the Bandera County Courier. The article can be accessed in the archives section at www.bccourier.com.)
Kolbee Trammell implicated his father, Lynn, in the drug overdose death of his girlfriend, Brooke Whitney, during a hearing held the morning of Friday, Dec. 5, in Harrison County Circuit Court in Missouri.
Trammell, 24, formerly of Ridgeway, Missouri, but more recently of Pipe Creek, plead guilty to an amended charge of involuntary manslaughter and abandonment of a corpse during an appearance before Circuit Judge Jack Peace.
Kolbee Trammell was originally charged with first-degree murder in the death of Whitney who died of an apparent drug overdose. The mother of three children was the subject of a search after her disappearance on Aug. 22, 2012. Her decomposed body was found three weeks later by a man riding a horse near Ridgeway.
Under a plea agreement to reduced charges of involuntary manslaughter, Trammell was required to testify in court about the circumstances of Whitney's death. Whitney's family listened as Trammell described the grim details of her death from a fatal mixture of drugs at a residence in the Ridgeway area.
Trammell said his father, Lynn Trammell, prepared a concoction of drugs that were stolen from his grandfather, Larry Trammell. Lynn Trammell provided the drug mixture to both Kolbee and Whitney, according to Kolbee's testimony. Whitney immediately became ill, he said.
"She started convulsing and couldn't breathe," Kolbee Trammell stated while facing Whitney's family.
Kolbee said his father told him "to get the hell out of here" and wrapped Whitney's body in a blanket. He said he left his girlfriend with his father.
Lynn Trammell currently is serving a prison term in an unrelated case. The elder Trammell had originally told authorities that Kolbee had given the drugs to Brooke but later recanted his statement.
Prosecuting Attorney Johnathan Meyer said Kolbee's testimony that his father had prepared the fatal dose for Whitney was "consistent with statements" that the state had been given about the circumstances of her death.
"We didn't have any forensic evidence," Meyer said.
Meyer said following Friday morning's court hearing that he plans to charge Lynn Trammell with second-degree murder and abandonment of a corpse, based upon his son's court statement. He will also be charged with stealing the drugs from the grandfather, Larry Trammell, who had passed away earlier in the week.
Kolbee Trammell was represented at Friday's court hearing by attorney Jake Jacoby, who stated that his client had agreed to plead guilty to an amended charge of involuntary manslaughter and abandonment of a corpse.
Before pronouncing the sentence, Judge Peace opened the court for statements from Whitney's family, who filled two benches in the courtroom. Her uncle, Shane Waldron, who served as spokesman, said the family was "devastated by the loss of Brooke and we still are two years later." He broke down in the middle of the statement, and Meyer finished reading the statement into the record.
Peace pronounced the sentence following the state's recommendation to assess a five-year prison sentence for involuntary manslaughter and four years for abandonment, with both sentences to be served concurrently.
Trammell was led from the courtroom in shackles and was taken to the Harrison County Law Enforcement Center where he will await transportation to the Department of Corrections.