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Judges rule cop won't have new trial on murder, arson charges

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An Evansville police officer who killed his mistress more than 20 years ago wasn’t able to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday that he is entitled to post-conviction relief.

Glenn Patrick Bradford raised several issues on appeal after Vanderburgh Circuit Judge Carld Heldt denied his petition for relief last year. Among those, Bradford argued that Bunch v. State, 964 N.E.2d 274 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012), supports his claim that newly discovered evidence relating to a fire that broke out at Tammy Lohr’s house entitled him to a new trial.

Bradford and Lohr had an extramarital affair for four years until Bradford attempted to end the affair. He would often stop by her house before and after his night shift. In August 1992, he reported a fire at her house at 6:35 a.m. and gave conflicting reports to others on the scene as to whether he went inside and where Lohr’s body was. Investigators believed the fire couldn’t have been burning for more than a few minutes when firefighters responded and that it was intentionally set. Lohr’s body had multiple stab wounds.

Bradford was charged and convicted of murder and arson and sentenced to the maximum of 80 years.

At his hearing for post-conviction relief, Douglas Carpenter testified on behalf of Bradford and concluded that the fire began between 4:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. Bradford argued that this is newly discovered evidence that entitles him to a new trial. But his testimony was largely cumulative of Barker Davie’s, who testified at trial that the fire had started before Bradford arrived at the house. In addition, many of the tests that Carpenter used to come to his conclusion were possible at the time of Bradford’s trial, and his testimony was not based on major advancements in fire investigation science, as was the case in Bunch, Senior Judge Randal T. Shepard wrote in Glenn Patrick Bradford v. State of Indiana, 82A01-1203-PC-129.

Bradford also raised claims of ineffective assistance of his trial and appellate attorneys, but the judges only found an instance of ineffective assistance when his attorney didn’t object to a final jury instruction regarding the consideration of prior statements as substantive evidence of guilt. Considering the entirety of the case and his counsel’s vigorous pursuit of an alibi defense, among other things, the COA determined Bradford wasn’t prejudiced by his trial attorney’s error.

The judges found no reason to overturn the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief.

 

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