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Freedom fleeting for convicted murderer

by Keith KINNAIRD<br
| October 26, 2009 9:00 PM

SANDPOINT — A Bonner County woman who was given a suspended prison sentence for her role in a Priest Lake murder and theft case has squandered her freedom by using drugs.

Tyrah Brea Harding was arrested Saturday on a $50,000 agent’s warrant after she admitted using methamphetamine, according to court documents.

A drug test confirmed her alleged admissions.

A hearing on the probation violation is pending in 1st District Court.

Harding, 27, was sentenced in February to two to five years for accessory to second-degree murder and four to 12 years for grand theft by possession of stolen property.

The sentence was suspended and she was ordered to serve five months at the Bonner County Jail, according to the terms of a plea agreement.

She was placed on probation, which subjected her to searches by probation officials.

Harding’s arrest comes 10 days after a Bonner County magistrate granted her a divorce from her former husband and alleged accomplice in the killing, Keith Allen Brown. He remains jailed and awaiting trial for the first-degree murder of Leslie Carlton Breaw, 48.

Breaw’s remains were found within walking distance of his Coolin home in the spring of 2007. Authorities allege Breaw was shot to death the previous January and then fled the area with $56,000 which belonged to the dead man.

The former couple was arrested in Fort Myers Beach, Fla., the day after Breaw’s body was found.

Brown, 49, is scheduled to be tried next year. An evidentiary hearing to determine if investigators intentionally misled a magistrate in obtaining warrants is set for next month.

Brown has pleaded not guilty and maintains Breaw was shot accidentally in a struggle over a .22-caliber rifle. Brown further alleges Breaw was the aggressor in the deadly confrontation.

Harding filed for divorce in June, citing irreconcilable differences. The couple married in Bozeman, Mont., in 2005. The case was settled and Judge Barbara Buchanan granted the divorce on Oct. 14, court records show.