Tape sheds light on murdered woman's restraining order denial

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by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 9:21 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 25 at 9:22 PM

TACOMA, Wash. – There was still no comment Tuesday from a judge who denied a restraining order to a woman who was murdered last weekend. But an audio tape of the hearing in which Georgia Gunzer asked for the order is shedding light on the decision.

Gunzer, 33, was found stabbed to death in her home Saturday morning. Her 10-year-old daughter made the discovery. Gunzer's ex-boyfriend, Alphonso Bell, is now charged with the murder.

Bell is a convicted felon. During the hearing three months ago, Pierce County Court Commissioner Mark Gelman is heard telling Gunzer her request for a protection order did not meet the requirements of the law. Gunzer admits she had visited Bell in prison several times.

Gelman: "You've been out to that facility on at least six occasions."

Gunzer: "Yes, I have."

Gelman: "That shows that you've got some real concerns about credibility here in terms of your fear of Mr. Bell."

Gunzer: "I'm sure it does."


Friends say without a protection order, Gunzer felt she had to be nice to Bell.

At the Family Justice Center in Tacoma, frightened women come seeking help. They often turn to a kiosk where they can file a protection order. Fearful woman are advised to get help with filing the forms and, if it's not granted, look for other ways to get protection.

"That protection order alone isn't going to keep somebody alive. What's going to keep them alive is a network of supports," said Susan Adams of the Family Justice Center.

Friends of Gunzer are working out a parenting plan for her daughter.

A candlelight vigil will be held Friday night at the Puyallup Health Clinic where Gunzer worked as a nurse's assistant.

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