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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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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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