Closing arguments expected tomorrow in Bradley murder trial

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) –James Bradley will not take the stand in his murder trial.

Closing arguments are expected to begin tomorrow, after the prosecution wrapped up its case today and the defense said it would not call any witnesses to the stand.

The trial began this morning with emotional testimony from Bradley’s former landlord.

Alice Meehan rented Bradley the apartment he lived in when Shannon Rippy Van Newkirk disappeared. A visibly shaken Meehan told the jury about inspecting the home after police completed their search. Meehan found black tape, gardening shears with “something red on them,” a thumb drive and documents she gave to a detective.

The documents were short stories “The Beast Within” and “Serial Killer” allegedly written by Bradley. The short stories were given to the jury to read as Meehan wiped away tears.

Van Newkirk’s brother, Shawn Dayton, took the stand after that. He testified that after finding out Shannon was missing, nothing was packed up in her apartment. When asked if he thought Shannon was alive, he responded “No, she would have contacted my mother if she was.”

An FBI agent was the last witness to take the stand for the state. He testified Monday. Today, he explained phone records to the jury and testified that Bradley’s phone was definitely off or unable to connect to a cell tower between 8:39 p.m and 11:00 p.m. the night Van NewKirk was last seen.

After the defense declined to call any witnesses the jury was excused for the rest of the day.

Bradley is accused of killing his coworker, Van Newkirk in 2014. Her body has not been found. While searching for her, police discovered the remains of Elisha Tucker. Bradley will stand trial for Tucker’s murder at a later date.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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