PORT TOWNSEND — Many in Port Townsend on Saturday were mourning the death of musician and father Jarrod Bramson.
The singer, songwriter and guitarist — half of the musical duo Solvents of Port Townsend — was pronounced dead of an apparent drug overdose Wednesday. He was 43.
“He was deeply and dearly beloved,” said Teresa Verraes, executive director of the Port Townsend School of Arts and a family friend who created a gofundmepage Friday to help Bramson’s wife and musical partner, Emily Madden, and the rest of his family with expenses.
“There are so many people who knew him and loved him,” Verraes said Saturday.
She described Bramson as “an epic dad.”
As of noon Saturday, the gofundme page at tinyurl.com/PDN-bramsongofundme had amassed $23,322 of a $30,000 goal, donated by 295 people in one day.
A Port Townsend man was arrested for investigation of felony controlled substances homicide following Bramson’s death and is scheduled to be arraigned during a hearing at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Jefferson County Courthouse, 1820 Jefferson St.
Adam Michael Kelly, 38, had a first appearance in Jefferson County Superior Court on Friday. He remained in the Jefferson County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail Saturday.
Kelly also has been charged with possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance and unlawful use of a building for drug purposes.
Bramson was found unconscious in his vehicle at Jefferson Healthcare hospital just after 8 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Port Townsend Police Department.
Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful, police said.
Sequence of events
The sequence of events according to the police probable cause statement and police interviews, is as follows:
Kelly and Bramson had been in contact earlier in the day and agreed to meet at Kelly’s house in the 1400 block of 12th Street. When Bramson arrived, he appeared to witnesses to be under the influence. The men went downstairs to the “dungeon,” a term Kelly’s girlfriend used to describe the area where she had seen a pill press and liquid drugs.
The woman, who was not identified in the report, said the liquids and pills were steroids, and she said Kelly told her he was a pioneer in the market. The woman said Kelly told her he sold drugs to “the cartel” and worked in a business partnership with the Aryan Brotherhood.
About 20 to 30 minutes after Bramson arrived, the woman said Kelly called her downstairs to help revive Bramson. She said Kelly retrieved two shots of Narcan, a compound that can counteract opioid overdoses, and Kelly injected them into Bramson, one into each leg.
The woman said Kelly rejected her suggestion to call 9-1-1.
The pair carried Bramson to Bramson’s car and drove him about five blocks to the hospital, where they left Bramson in the passenger seat of his running vehicle.
Hospital surveillance video showed Kelly and the woman walking away.
Further investigation led to a multi-agency response and the execution of a search warrant at Kelly’s home, where hazardous materials were found, police said.
An FBI bomb squad entered the home Thursday during the execution of a search warrant and found a clandestine lab setup, according to the probable cause statement. The bomb squad found four processing stations where chemicals were heated and processed, a pill press and two other locations set up to manufacture controlled substances, according to the statement.
Bags with a white powdery substance filled a mini-refrigerator in the room, and printing labels were located for a broad geographic area along with fake labels to conceal the identity of the items being shipped, according to the statement.
The bomb squad also found several guns and boxes of ammunition along with a tactical vest, according to the statement.
The Port Townsend Police Department is the primary investigating agency, with assistance from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, East Jefferson Fire-Rescue, State Patrol SWAT, the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and the state Department of Ecology.
Bramson and Madden released several CDs and performed in the U.S., Mexico and Europe.
They often played their music in several venues in Port Townsend, including during the Concerts on the Dock summer series, and were next scheduled to perform Saturday at the Pourhouse.
“They played everywhere they went,” Verraes said.
“They have an enormous following.”
The donations and comments on the gofundme page are “really a testament to this community coming together but also how much they dearly loved him,” said Verraes, who explained that the family was not prepared to speak Saturday but will announce a memorial when it has been organized.
Bramson has twin daughters who will turn 20 next month, Verraes said.
Madden also has a daughter.
“The girls have been best friends and comrades,” Verraes said.
“They are an amazing family,” she added, saying the extended family is “hundreds of people.”
Both Bramson and Madden were involved in the Boiler Room, said Verraes, who founded the now closed coffeehouse for young people in Port Townsend in 1993.
“We became a tribe through the Boiler Room,” she said.
“He was a writer and a poet,” Verraes said. “He was so soulful.
“He was one of the brightest, the kindest, and most talented human beings that I have ever met,” she said.
Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56052, or at [email protected]
Peninsula Daily News Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at [email protected].