By CHRISTINE DEMPSEY, email@example.com
The Hartford Courant
December 15, 2010
Beverly Therrien loved her son, but she didn't want him to beat her any more, she told a judge between sobs in October.
"I never want Brett to come near me again," she said in Superior Court in Manchester as her son was being sentenced on a breach of peace charge. "After I'm dead, he can go in the house and take what he wants."
Therrien, 74, and two friends were found beaten to death in her East Hartford house on Thanksgiving Day, just a month after testifying against her son. Police have named the son, Brett Bednarz, and his sister, Candace Bednarz, "persons of interest" in the slayings. The siblings have not been charged with the crime.
The mother and grown children had been involved in numerous disputes, accusing one another of harassment and stealing, police records show.
Therrien talked about her son at his Oct. 27 sentencing on a breach of peace charge. The charge stemmed from a March incident during which he was accused of placing a broomstick across her lower abdomen and pushing down with force, court documents state.
Her words were referenced in court Monday, when Bednarz was arraigned on unrelated charges and bail was set at $515,000. He remains in custody.
She choked back tears as she spoke that day.
"I want Brett to turn and look at me," Therrien said, although court staff told her she had to address Judge Kevin A. Randolph.
"Brett's a very unusual man. He's extremely intelligent. He's handsome. But he has a violent temper."
He had beaten her at least seven times, she said, forcing her to seek medical treatment. She would hide her drugs in her pillowcase, she said, and when he found them, he would slap her.
Despite that, she said, she never called the police. She had even bailed him out of jail, she said.
"Somebody who loved me called the police because they were tired of my opening my fat mouth and telling about the beatings that this man had given to me," Therrien said.
"I still love him, but he doesn't deserve my love," she said. "I've protected him long enough. I never want Brett to come near me again. After I'm dead, he can go in the house and take what he wants."
Randolph sentenced Bednarz to a year of probation and ordered him to get rid of his weapons, a .22-caliber rifle, two BB guns and a blowgun.
The judge also put in place a special, no-contact order that would remain in effect for 20 years.
A month later, police went to Therrien's house at 154 Naomi Drive to check on the woman at the request of an out-of-state relative. They found Therrien and two friends, Pamela Johns, 60, and Michael Ramsey, 53, dead in a gruesome scene that showed signs of extreme violence, police said. All three died of head trauma.
It took police a week to collect what they called a "high volume of physical evidence" at the house.
On Monday, Randolph read from Therrien's Oct. 27 statement during Bednarz's arraignment on two new charges. Bednarz, 46, was arrested Friday and charged with two counts of violation of probation. He remains in custody on a cash bail of more than a half-million dollars on the probation violations, plus a marijuana charge from last week.
The drug arrest triggered the violations. Bednarz had been on probation because of convictions for a 2009 sexual assault and for the March 26 assault on Therrien.
Asked why the original charge of third-degree assault on an elderly person didn't stick, the prosecutor, Anthony Spinella, said Therrien didn't want it to. She didn't want her son to go to jail, he said.
Still, Spinella said he felt terrible when he heard Therrien was killed, although he noted that her son has not been charged with the crime.
"I felt horrible," he said Tuesday. "I still do feel horrible."
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