Woman Twice Denied Protection Orders by Christian Judge Shot Dead by Ex-Husband

By Jonathan Larsen

Friday’s fatal shooting at the Capital Gazette was not the most recent to emerge from a case of one man stalking one woman. In that case, the woman won in court, but police afterward said they were unable to protect the newspaper that reported the story and then became the alleged gunman’s target. On Sunday, in Alabama, the woman was killed after the same judge twice rejected her request for an order of protection.

On March 31, 2017, according to the Decatur Daily, Judge Chad Wise denied the request of Debra Ann Rivera for an order of protection, technically known as a protection-against-abuse order, against her ex-husband. In her petition, Rivera said that her ex-husband put a GPS tracker in her car, verbally abused her, stole her personal contacts, and aided a convicted felon in harassing her. Her request that he be forced to surrender any firearms he had was denied.

In December, Judge Wise gave Rivera custody of their two daughters, age 11 and 5, but gave her ex-husband, Darwin Brazier, visitation rights. In March of this year, Wise temporarily granted Rivera her request for a protection order. This time, Rivera had told Wise that Brazier threatened both her and her new husband, drove by their house at “all hours,” had “been physical in the past,” and had “pulled a gun on me.” She said the behavior had grown worse since she was granted custody. Wise ended the order against her ex-husband on April 10.

On Sunday, Brazier shot and killed Rivera, her husband, and their roommate. He killed himself later as police closed in on him.

Before she and two others were shot dead in Alabama on Sunday, Debra Ann Rivera twice had asked a judge to order her ex-husband to surrender his guns because of alleged abuse.

The request was denied both times by the same judge.

Triple homicide leaves ex-wife dead after protection request denied

Before she and two others were shot dead near Ardmore on Sunday, Debra Ann Rivera twice had asked a judge to order her ex-husband to surrender his guns because of

Judge Wise is a former prosecutor, a conservative Christian who has been endorsed by state groups who also backed a recent, failed congressional bid by Rich Hobson, Roy Moore’s former campaign manager.

Last year, Wise made headlines by tossing out multiple charges against a man who allegedly confessed to sodomy and sexual abuse of children. Wise said the charges were too old to bring to trial without violating the defendant’s right to a speedy trial.

In January, Wise oversaw the trial of a man accused of murdering his ex-wife’s boyfriend. The defense did not dispute the killing but said the victim had been belligerent. The all-male jury found the defendant not guilty.

Last April, a rapist who had drawn national attention for a sentence that included no jail time received a 35-year sentence from Judge Wise for violating his probation by committing credit card fraud.

In 2016, Wise ran for office saying he would “protect property, families and, most importantly, our children.” Asked about Moore prioritizing his Christian faith over the law, Wise said, “as a conservative Christian . . . I will follow the law.


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