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Thursday, February 26, 2009

[NC] Supreme Court ruling may effect dead Patsy Bradley's ex-police chief husband

Patricia Tinsley Bradley
1964-2005


...Patsy Bradley was found dead in her home about a month after the assault....

...In their September motion to dismiss the firearms charge, prosecutors cited a ruling by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals that cast doubt on whether Bradley could be prosecuted. But the department said in the motion it would refile the charge against Bradley should the Supreme Court overturn the Appeals Court ruling, which it did on Tuesday...

Previous entries:
COURT RULING COULD REVIVE GUN CHARGE
Bradley case may resurface
Asheville Citizen-Times
Clarke Morrison
February 26, 2009 12:15 am
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling involving a domestic violence case could pave the way for prosecutors to once again charge former Woodfin Police Chief Pete Bradley with illegally possessing a gun. The decision this week also could have broad impact on domestic violence cases, victims' advocates said Wednesday. The court in its 7-2 ruling found state laws against battery don't have to specifically mention domestic violence to fall under a domestic violence gun ban enacted in 1996. The U.S. Justice Department in September dropped a felony firearms charge against Bradley that had been filed under the 1996 law. In their September motion to dismiss the firearms charge, prosecutors cited a ruling by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals that cast doubt on whether Bradley could be prosecuted. But the department said in the motion it would refile the charge against Bradley should the Supreme Court overturn the Appeals Court ruling, which it did on Tuesday... The indictment on the gun possession charge, filed in U.S. District Court in Asheville, said the career law enforcement officer was found with a .45-caliber Sig Sauer handgun on April 2. Bradley was convicted in March 2007 of assaulting his wife in their Biltmore Forest home, about a month before Patsy Bradley died of what officials deemed suicide. The 1996 law bans possession of firearms by anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. Other laws forbid felons from possessing firearms. In dismissing the charge against Bradley, prosecutors cited the Appeals Court ruling that the underlying misdemeanor crime must have, as an element, a domestic relationship. Bradley was convicted of assault on a female, a North Carolina crime "that does not contain as an element that there be a domestic relationship, although that fact is present in the underlying case," the department said in its motion to dismiss. But in striking down the Appeals Court ruling in a case from West Virginia, the Supreme Court said state laws don't have to specifically mention domestic violence to fall under the gun ban. It is enough, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in her majority opinion, that the victim of such a crime be involved in a domestic relationship with the attacker... In the assault case against Bradley, prosecutors said at his trial that he struck his wife in the head during the early morning hours of Aug. 31, 2005, leaving a lump the size of a golf ball. Officers said they found Patsy Bradley scared and crying in her car at a neighbor's house. Bradley was sentenced in Buncombe County Superior Court to 30 days in jail after a jury found him guilty. Patsy Bradley was found dead in her home about a month after the assault. The State Bureau of Investigation launched an investigation, and an autopsy report released later by the N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner called her death a suicide prompted by depression and a troubled marriage. A prosecutor told jurors at Bradley's assault trial that Bradley told officers investigating the death, "I guess she won't be testifying against me." Bradley testified he didn't strike his wife... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence, u.s. politics, north carolina politics, gun ban, fatality, falities, suicide, murder, unsolved or unresolved]

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