Prior murder conviction details revealed during Bradley murder trial

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Another dramatic day during James Bradley’s murder trial.

Bradley is accused of killing Shannon Rippy Van Newkirk, whose body has never been found.

Despite numerous objections from the defense, District Attorney Ben David introduced details from Bradley’s 1988 murder trial.

A former detective with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, Claude Maxwell, took to the stand to testify about Bradley’s previous murder conviction.

Maxwell says Bradley broke down and said, “I did it” when asked about his step-daughter Ivy Gibson’s death.  Maxwell also read Bradley’s murder confession, where he admitted to using a sock to strangle the child because she annoyed him while he was watching tv.

Bradley disposed of the child’s body in several trash bags, similar to how Elisha Tucker’s body was found. Bradley is also charged with Tucker’s murder. Her body was found while police were looking for Van Newkirk.

It’s part of an effort to point out how Gibson’s death is “relevant and similar to Rippy’s.”

The judge also told the jury the polygraph from that 1988 trial that was brought up is inadmissible.

The trial will resume next week.


Categories: Local, New Hanover

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