Victim’s brother fears Guendulain will kill again if released

Alan Rose has never met his sister’s killer, and has no desire to. He says talking to him on the phone was enough.

“He was very suspicious whenever I called, and he wouldn’t let me talk to her,” said Rose, who lives in Florida, explaining that soon after Christine Rose moved in with Joseph Guendulain in South Kitsap, the man nearly 20 years her senior showed his possessive side.

That possessive side turned deadly in April of 1996 when Christine, 46, was found dead in the home she shared with Guendulain on McCormick Woods Drive. Guendulain was arrested and charged with her murder, but was soon found incompetent to stand trial and transferred to Western State Hospital near Tacoma.

Rose said he has no doubt Guendulain killed his sister, and remembers vividly the last time he spoke to her.

“She told me she hid all the knives in the house, he was scaring her so bad,” he said, explaining that he was immediately concerned for her safety and told her to come home to Florida. “She didn’t have enough money, so I told her I would send it to her. I did — but she never had a chance to use it.”

Just days after that call, Rose said Christine’s daughter called him in the middle of the night and told him her mother had been killed. When he learned she had been stabbed, he said he knew Guendulain had done it.

“As soon as she told me she was hiding all the knives, I thought, ‘that’s insanity,’” he said. “She should have left. That would have been enough for me.”

Although Guendulain was charged and ultimately hospitalized, Rose said he could never relax. “Every 180 days, the hospital would notify me that (his commitment was up for review), and then all the emotions would swirl up again,” he said, describing the last ten years as a roller coaster of regret, worry and anger.

“You think stuff like this will never happen to you, and then it does, and it’s surreal — you can’t believe it,” he said. “You take a whole different approach to things.”

But as traumatic as those years were for him, Rose said he would much rather have had Guendulain remain hospitalized than be charged again for his sister’s murder by the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office, which is what happened last year.

“We would be much better off if he was still in (Western State),” he said. “At least he would be watched there. Because I believe as long as he has the strength to pick up a knife, he will do it again. And this way, he negotiated a plea deal that will essentially allow him to walk out a free man.”

Last Friday, Guendulain pleaded guilty to a second-degree murder charge, conceding before Judge Russell W. Hartman that a jury would most likely find him guilty at trial, which he was declared competent for last year.

Hartman will sentence him on June 16, and if he follows the prosecutor’s recommendation and imposes the minimum of 10.25 years, Guendulain would be released from jail in weeks.

Rose said Deputy Prosecutor Jeremy Morris told him that was because all the years Guendulain spent hospitalized would be credited toward his sentence.

“I almost threw up when I heard that,” he said, explaining that before talking to the prosecutors he did not know that Guendulain’s time in the hospital would count as prison time. “I was floored when I found out the time in Western State would count one-to-one. Any time your Civil Rights have been taken away from you for a 24-hour period, it counts.”

Rose said his feelings are still so raw that he did not want to be in the courtroom when Guendulain pleaded guilty Friday.

“I didn’t want to come out and speak at his hearing just to watch him smirk and smile at me,” he said. “Unless my testimony was going to change anything, I didn’t want to go through that.”

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