Jury seated in Bradley murder trial; opening statements to begin Thursday

Opening statements are set to begin Thursday morning in New Hanover County Superior Court. Bradley, 54, of Wilmington is charged with first-degree murder in the presumed death of his coworker, missing Wilmington woman Shannon Rippy Van Newkirk.

Van Newkirk, 53, was last seen April 5, 2014. Three weeks into the search for her, investigators visited land in Pender County where Van Newkirk and Bradley worked and unearthed the body of another missing Wilmington woman, Elisha Tucker, 33. Bradley also is charged with murder in Tucker’s death and the state is seeking the death penalty. The trial into Tucker’s killing will come at a later date.

Van Newkirk has never been found.

Jury selection in the Van Newkirk case began Monday afternoon from a pool of 300 people in Pender County. The jury was selected in the neighboring county where news coverage of Van Newkirk’s disappearance may not have been as intense. The jurors will then be bused in to Wilmington to hear the facts of the case.

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Categories: Local, New Hanover

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