Jury finds Brandon Bradley guilty of murder in Brevard deputy slaying
Man convicted in slaying of Brevard County Deputy Barbara Pill
VIERA, Fla. – The jury has found Brandon Bradley guilty of first-degree murder of a police officer in the shooting death of Brevard County Sheriff's Deputy Barbara Pill
Bradley was found guilty on all four counts he was charged with, including first-degree murder, robbery, fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer and resisting officer with violence.
After a little more than an hour of deliberations, the jury in Bradley's murder trial reached the verdict on Tuesday afternoon. The jury received the case on Tuesday just before 3 p.m.
The jury will reconvene on Thursday at 9 a.m. for the penalty phase of the trial. Bradley faces the death penalty on his conviction of first-degree murder.
Pill was shot five times, including once in the face, during a traffic stop in March 2012.
After the verdict on Tuesday, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey held a news conference.
"She was not only a great lady, but a great law enforcement officer," Ivey said, adding that the Pill family is overwhelmed and happy about the verdict. "I can tell you that losing Barbara was a huge chunk of us and we know how important it is to not only support her family but our family too."
The judge said on Tuesday during jury instructions that jurors were also allowed to consider lesser included charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Defense attorneys for Bradley rested their case Monday afternoon after presenting evidence that their client had a history of drug use, was on drugs at the time of the shooting, and was impaired when he waived his Miranda rights and spoke to police.
On Monday, Bradley announced he wouldn't testify in his trial.
The defense argued that Bradley was drugged at the time he waived his Miranda rights, and previously the judge instructed the jury he is currently on psychotropic drugs for a mental or emotional condition. She asked Monday if Bradley's medicine affected his ability to make decisions. He said it didn't and agreed he was thinking clearly.
The defense called Jacquelyn Olander, a neuropsychologist who gave Bradley tests and found he scored low for IQ and was likely to submit to authority figures. Bradley was 17 when he graduated from Eau Gallie High School in 2007 with a 2.6 GPA.
Olander said Bradley's statements in a video of the shooting are consistent with paranoia.
She said Bradley told her he was hearing voices and was beaten by his stepfather as a child. He also told her about three head injuries: a car crash, falling off monkey bars and getting hit with a lock.
"Based upon the summation of all the data I obtained," Olander said, "I found he was significantly impaired at the time he reportedly waived his rights, such that his ability to know what he was doing, his ability to voluntarily do it and his intelligence in making that decision were all significantly impaired."
Bradley's blood was taken a day after he waived his Miranda rights and spoke to police. Based on the amount of Xanax found in his blood, a defense witness previously estimated how much would have been there at the time of the interrogation.
Monday afternoon, the state presented rebuttal evidence. They called a toxicologist who directly contradicted the defense's witness, saying it isn't possible to determine how much of the drug was in Bradley's blood at the time he was questioned.
The state closed by handing jurors documents detailing Bradley's prior felony convictions, which include burglary, grand theft, possession of cocaine and robbery.
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