- Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2015

SEATTLE (AP) - Raymond Fryberg’s lawyers say he was never served with a domestic violence restraining order and had no idea he wasn’t allowed to have guns.

But federal prosecutors say that 2002 order meant that Fryberg was prohibited from owning firearms, and say he lied on the forms he filled out when he bought nine hunting rifles and the Beretta handgun later used by his son, Jaylen Fryberg, to fatally shoot four friends and then himself in a high school cafeteria last fall.

Starting Monday, a jury will hear testimony and review evidence to ultimately decide which story is true. His trial in U.S. District Court in Seattle is expected to run three days.

Raymond Fryberg, a Tulalip Tribal member, does not face any charges related to the Marysville-Pilchuck High School shooting on Oct. 24. He faces six counts of illegally possessing a list of guns that he bought from a Cabela’s on the reservation in between 2013 and 2015.

The case largely turns on that domestic violence protection order, according to the trial briefs.

What is undisputed by lawyers on both sides is that Jamie Gobin, Fryberg’s former girlfriend and the mother of one of his sons, went to the Tribal Court on Aug. 19, 2002 and applied for a temporary protection order, claiming Fryberg had abused her. The court scheduled an Aug. 27, 2002 hearing and issued an order. They set the next hearing for Sept. 10, 2002.

At this point, the lawyers’ versions go in opposite directions.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says a Tribal police officer served a copy of the protection order on Fryberg at the “corner of Reuben Shelton Dr. & Ellison James” in Tulalip. The order advised Fryberg to appear at the September hearing to explain why the order shouldn’t be made effective for a year or more. The order set limits on his contact with Gobin and their child.

Fryberg didn’t appear at the Sept. 10, 2002 hearing but Gobin was there, prosecutors said, and she said she wanted the order made permanent. The judge granted her request.

John Henry Browne, Fryberg’s lawyer, said his client denies receiving the order or the notice of the hearing and said the prosecutor’s claims are “factually impossible.”

Fryberg never lived at the address where the officer allegedly served the notice, and more important, the two streets he listed are parallel and don’t intersect to form a “corner,” Browne said. Prosecutors didn’t list the officer as a witness because he’s dead, Browne said. Browne filed a motion Friday asking the judge to prohibit the officer’s information because he can’t be cross-examined.

Browne also said the veracity of the protection order is in question.

Although the September order was allegedly signed by Gobin, “the signature is not in her handwriting,” Browne said. After the court filed the order, Gobin filed two motions saying she lied in the original protection order. She said Fryberg “never put his hands on me.” She said her parents talked her into getting the order and she asked the court to drop the restraining order.

Browne said Fryberg’s interactions with law enforcement confirmed in his mind that he was allowed to have guns.

Officials conducted a background check when he bought a shotgun and the Beretta in 2013 and it came back saying he was not prohibited from possessing firearms, Browne said. Fryberg also applied for a concealed weapons permit, which also requires a background check, and again, he came back clean and was given the permit, Browne said. While out hunting, Fryberg periodically was checked by Fish and Wildlife wardens and again, he passed all checks for guns, Browne said.

“Given these facts, Mr. Fryberg clearly was not prohibited from owning or possessing firearms,” Browne said.

Prosecutors said Fryberg’s lack of knowledge that the protection order made him prohibited from having guns under federal law is not a defense. They filed a motion Friday asking the judge to prohibit Browne from taking this position at trial.

They also said Fryberg’s statements to officials after he was arrested in March suggest that he knew about the 2002 order, as well as his 2012 conviction for violating the order.


Follow Martha Bellisle at https://twitter.com/marthabellisle

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