BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The state attorney for Brevard and Seminole counties announced Wednesday that he would not seek to relitigate the sentencing of a man who killed a Brevard County deputy in 2012.
Brandon Bradley, 31, shot and killed Deputy Barbara Pill on March 6, 2012, when he was 24, during a traffic stop in Melbourne. Following his conviction in 2014, a jury came back with a 10-2 decision to impose the death penalty on Bradley.
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However, in 2017 the Florida Supreme Court ruled that non-unanimous death recommendations were unconstitutional and the state legislature subsequently changed the law to reflect that decision. Because of that, the death penalty against Bradley was thrown out, changing his sentence to life without parole
Archer released a statement explaining his decision not to make another attempt at a death penalty sentencing.
“I want to make it abundantly clear that I personally believe Brandon BRADLEY was given and still deserves the death penalty for the brutal execution style killing of Deputy Barbara Pill. However, after lengthy consideration and discussion, the Pill family has requested that we agree to a sentence of life in prison for Mr. BRADLEY rather than seek the death penalty through a new sentencing proceeding. Their expressed desire was to avoid re-living the pain and trauma they experienced in the first trial, as the graphic and disturbing evidence detailing Barbara’s murder was presented for a new jury to consider,” Archer’s statement reads. “I give great weight to the wishes of the surviving family members in these instances and I have agreed to honor their request.”
After his death sentence was thrown out in 2017, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey spoke out against the Supreme Court’s decision.
“I think Brandon Bradley needs to die for taking the life of Barbara Pill, I don’t make any bones about that. If you execute a law enforcement officer, quite frankly, if you execute anybody in our community, you (deserve the death penalty),” Ivey said.
Bradley’s girlfriend, Andria Kerchner, who was in the car with him, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for her role in Pill’s death.
Bradley is set to be formally sentenced to life in prison Wednesday afternoon by Judge Charles Crawford, according to the state attorney’s office.