Eric Earle, left, and Karla Brada met at Alcoholics Anonymous. Brada’s parents claim AA and the couple their lawsuit names as sponsors are responsible for their daughter’s murder at the hand of Earle.
Couple named in wrongful-death lawsuit deny AA sponsorship
Lawsuit alleges responsibility in death of murdered daughter
November 17th 2014 Jim Holt
Joanne Fry is among the defendants named in a wrongful death civil suit filed last month by Sylmar residents Hector and Jaroslava Mendez, whose daughter Brada was murdered in August 2011.
More than three years after the murder, a San Fernando Superior Court jury found Brada’s boyfriend, Eric Allen Earle, guilty of murdering her in the Saugus home they shared. Earle wilfully and deliberately smothered Brada to death, the jury determined in September. Earle was sentenced in October to 26 years in prison.
The same month the Mendezes served their wrongful-death lawsuit. It named Joanne Fry as an AA sponsor and her husband, Patrick, as an AA sponsor. The suit was also served on the local AA office in Santa Clarita and on Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Inc. based in New York City, said attorney John Noland, who represents Brada’s parents.
In the lawsuit filed against them, the Frys are described as “sponsors” who “provided counseling to members attending meetings and specifically became sponsors for Karla H. Brada and Eric Allen Earle.”Daytona AA and NA meetings in Holly Hill Florida.
The lawsuit alleges the Frys were aware of Earle’s “violent criminal history and specifically his violent history as to violent crimes against women.”
Joanne Fry disagrees.
In a prepared four-page written statement delivered to The Signal in response to the lawsuit, Fry states:
“Many reports have referenced us as ‘sponsors’ for the couple through the AA program but this needs to be made very clear. We were not, ever have been, nor intended to be or become sponsors for Earle or Brada; we simply knew them.
“In addition, the time frame that we knew them was relatively six months. There has been an allegation that ‘jail time’ was spent between Patrick Fry and Eric Earle and this is not true.
“Patrick Fry and Eric Earle were roommates at (the live-in 12-step program) Eden Ministries. This is not a program where you pick your roommates; you are placed into a residence by the reverend of the program.
“Approximately March 2011 was when I, Patrick Fry, became roommates with Eric Earle. Within about two months, Earle was removed from the program for reasons unknown to me. I still resided at Eden Ministries.
“Sometime in the early summer months of the year 2011, I, Patrick Fry, saw Eric Earle again in the mandatory AA program. This is how we knew of each other. I was not a sponsor for Eric Earle or for Karla Brada.
“A sponsor for the program usually goes through and completes the 12-step program of which we did not do. We obtained our sobriety through other resources.
“A sponsor also is implied to be a person the addict can call upon in any situation for help or assistance with their addiction; this was not and never was a method for us knowing Earle and Brada, we simply just knew them through the program.
“The context of us as ‘sponsors’ have only been made in light of the lawsuit and this was never a view point from the AA program or how we viewed ourselves in reference to Earle and Brada or how Eric Earle and Karla Brada looked at us.”
As Joanne Fry left the newsroom, she said in parting: “We were just four people trying to stay sober.”
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt