MELBOURNE, Fla. - Minutes after a man allegedly shot and killed Brevard County Sheriff's Deputy Barbara Pill, he gave police officers who were taking him into custody a false name: Joseph Green, Local 6 news partner Florida Today reports.
Police say the man was Brandon Lee Bradley, who records show has used at least four different names in repeat interactions with law enforcement and during criminal activity. Bradley's surname even appears in different forms — sometimes as Brantley — on his birth certificate and Social Security card, among other legal documents.
Suspects giving false information is not uncommon in arrests and raises significant challenges for police, according to University of West Florida criminal justice professor and 30-year law enforcement veteran Richard M. Hough.
"It's a widespread problem when people for various minor or serious reasons try to fool law enforcement about who they are," Hough told Florida Today. Technology, such as mobile fingerprint scanners and in-car computers, and police training have significantly helped to curb the cases when suspects successfully dupe police.
Bradley's use of multiple names has posed a problem for law enforcement, and his multiple aliases are addressed in part of Brevard Sheriff's Agent Don Reynolds' report on Bradley's arrest following the shooting of the deputy.
Bradley and a companion, Andria Michelle Kerchner, 20, stand accused of murder in the March 6 shooting of Pill, 52. Pill was shot five times after stopping a vehicle connected to a robbery at a nearby motel. The suspect vehicle, a white Ford Explorer SUV, fled the scene leaving Pill dying on the street.
Police chased the truck until it crashed into a ditch on Parkway Drive near Turtle Mound Road and arrested two people inside.
As police arrested the driver, Bradley, he "reportedly initially identified himself as ‘Joseph Green,' " with a birth date of Aug. 8, 1988, Reynolds' report reads. The 119-page report was among new records released Wednesday in the case.
The report cautions that Bradley has multiple aliases, including two different surnames on vital records. Even Bradley's suspended Florida driver's license has last names Bradley and Brantley, Reynolds writes.
On the front, the license reads "'Brandon Lee Bradley,' however, within the signature block the name is signed ‘Brandon Brantley,'" the report says.
One day after Pill's death, police interviewed Bradley's mother, Tiffany Taylor. She said her son's true last name is Brantley, as it appears on his Social Security card. But she also said it was different on his birth certificate.
"Mrs. Taylor continued to advise Brandon's birth certificate was messed up at birth, and she never went and got it amended," Reynolds' report reads.
Reynolds chose to use the name Bradley in his report because it is the name that appears on the man's birth certificate.
Why Bradley gave the name Joseph Green to police on the March 6 arrest is not addressed in the report, nor is it clear if Green is a real person.
In late September, Bradley was arrested on drug charges in a Melbourne police case. He identified himself as his brother, Keith Nelson, a man with no criminal history, and was taken to Brevard County jail.
After making an initial court appearance still under the false name, and telling a judge he'd never been in trouble before, Bradley posted bond and was released. Jail officials hadn't confirmed his identity or discovered three active violation of probation warrants. The Brevard County Sheriff's Office is reviewing the release.
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