Attorney Skip Cornelius represented Clyde Bradford, a Houston, Texas man that was charged with the shooting death of a male at the rear of the victim’s residence.
Witnesses told police that the shooter walked back to his vehicle, sat in the driver’s seat, rolled down the front passenger window, raised a handgun pointing it toward the front passenger side and pulled the trigger multiple times although it was not discharging bullets, before driving away from the scene.
Composite Police Sketch Leads to Arrest
The witnesses provided police with a sketch of the shooter which was aired on TV. A citizen who saw the broadcast called police, identifying the sketch as a person named Clyde. Police research indicated that the Defendant had been involved in an incident where a weapon was discharged two years earlier, on the same street where the murder occurred. Bradford was subsequently charged and arrested.
Witnesses to the shooting could not identify Bradford in a photo spread, but did pick him out in a live line-up. One of the witnesses identified a photograph of the individual who had made the call regarding the sketch, as the shooter.
Suspect Denies Committing Murder
During police interrogations Bradford denied committing the murder. The police were unable to determine a motive for the shooting.
Gradoni & Associates Investigate
Lead Investigator Cindy Klein developed information that the victim’s estranged daughter drove a vehicle that fit the description of the shooter’s vehicle. Cindy also learned that the individual who gave the tip to police regarding the sketch, and who was also picked out in one of the photo spreads by a witness, was the estranged daughter’s boyfriend.
There was no physical evidence connecting the Defendant to the crime scene. The State’s case relied solely on the identification by the witnesses. Cindy Klein interviewed the majority of the identification witnesses, some of which did not appear to be credible and others who were very confused about their identification.
The first trial ended in a hung jury because of the inconsistency of the identifications. The Defendant was scheduled for a second trial in January of 2014. The State apparently did not want to risk obtaining a Not Guilty verdict, offering the Defendant a plea to the lesser offense of Manslaughter with a 3 year sentence, which when taken would guarantee his immediate release from jail; which, of course, he accepted.
RESULT BASED ON INVESTIGATION: Capital Murder Charge Reduced to Manslaughter, Time Served