Crime & Courts

Palmer resident was stabbed to death by a man he tried to help, family says

Brian Bohman dedicated much of his life to helping the underdog, his son said. Now, a man he’d been helping throughout the past year is accused of stabbing him to death last week, according to charging documents.

Bohman, 62, had offered 27-year-old Garrett Livingston a place to live over the last year, his son Daniel Bohman said Tuesday. Livingston had been experiencing homelessness before staying at the Bohmans’ property, he said.

Bohman spent 23 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, his son said. After raising seven children and retiring, he and his wife, GayLynn, became foster parents. The Bohmans housed high-risk children and teens who were unable to be placed in other foster homes because of violence, a history of destruction or other troublesome behaviors, his son said.

“He saw people who otherwise were discarded and discounted and written off by society, and he saw them as having value and worth and potential if they had been given a different opportunity,” Daniel Bohman said. “And he wanted to provide that opportunity.”

Eventually, the work created tension in the family, as Bohman’s children wanted to spend more time at home and bring their own children to visit, according to Daniel Bohman.

The couple stopped fostering youths this summer in order to spend more time with their family.

”We were all just really looking forward to finally being back and being able to be together and to do all the things we always wanted to do and build a relationship with dad as adults,” Daniel Bohman said.

Even after Bohman stopped fostering children, he continued to help others in need, Daniel Bohman said.

He was introduced to Livingston with the understanding that the 27-year-old had been experiencing homelessness and needed some help, Daniel Bohman said. For the past year, Livingston lived in the basement of Bohman’s home, according to a sworn affidavit signed by investigator Craig Markiewicz.

One of Bohman’s daughters was in her apartment upstairs at his home Friday when she heard yelling just before 3:50 p.m., the affidavit said. She waited upstairs until she saw Livingston walk away from the home and later told troopers that he was violent and aggressive, the affidavit said.

When she walked downstairs, Bohman was unconscious and had multiple stab wounds, troopers said. His daughter called for help, but he died from his wounds.

As troopers were responding to the scene, they saw Livingston walking along New Hope Road carrying a bloody knife and hammer, the affidavit said. During an interview with investigators, Livingston made a series of accusations against Bohman, including that he thought Bohman was going to kill him, according to the affidavit.

Livingston is facing one charge of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder.

Bohman’s death shocked everyone who knew him, his son said.

Several of Bohman’s children recently moved back to Alaska, and he’d looked forward to spending more time with them and his grandchildren, his son said.

“That might be the hardest part of all this, is the loss of the future,” Daniel Bohman said. “We were all at this turning point where we were moving into a future of true retirement for Mom and Dad where they were going to be available — and now that has been taken away from us.”

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