Suspect in death of Bradenton woman: Shooting 'accidental'

rdymond@bradenton.comNovember 5, 2013 

Braddy

BRADENTON -- Dressed in a dark jail outfit during a video feed from the Manatee County jail Monday, homicide suspect Terry Braddy learned from Judge Diana Moreland he would be denied bail on a charge he fatally shot his live-in girlfriend, Linda Michelle Brown.

Brown's death early Sunday morning in the 200 block of 19th Street East has been ruled a homicide, according to a Bradenton Police Department news release. It is the eighth homicide of the year in Bradenton and 11th in Manatee County.

Braddy told police he accidently shot Brown with a shotgun during a domestic dispute, according to a Bradenton police arrest report. He is charged with first-degree homicide, which carries only two possible punishments: a death sentence or life in prison without possibility of parole.

"I have looked at the probable-cause affidavits on the case and I am ordering that the bond stay at zero," Moreland told the 47-year-old Braddy during a hearing at the Manatee County Judicial Center.

Bradenton police say Braddy shot Brown in the stomach at the residence they shared on 19th Street East, She reportedly died of her wound just before 6:25 a.m. Sunday at Manatee Memorial Hospital.

Details surrounding Brown's death emerged Monday.

When Bradenton police arrived at Brown's residence, Braddy first told them an unknown male shot Brown in the bedroom and ran out the front door, according to the report.

Police found her laying on her back in her bedroom unconscious, with her eyes closed, according to the report.

James Wiggs, Brown's adult son who was sleeping in the house at the time of death, told a different story. He said he went to sleep at midnight and woke up to Braddy yelling for him. Wiggs said Braddy told him he shot Brown by accident with a shotgun.

"Wiggs stated there had been recent domestic violence issues between Mr. Braddy and Ms. Brown and their relationship had been on and off for months," the report states.

Wiggs also reportedly told police there was a shotgun in the house and Brown constantly hid it in different places to keep it from Braddy.

Police then questioned Braddy and asked if he had acci

dently shot Brown, the report indicates. He said he had, according to the report.

Braddy told police he and Brown began arguing late Saturday night about her whereabouts earlier in the evening. Braddy said he pushed Brown and she tried to stab him, the report states.

Braddy did have a flesh wound consistent with a puncture from a knife, according to the report. Braddy then said Brown got the shotgun and moved toward him pointing it at him.

Braddy reportedly told police he ripped the shotgun from Brown and, as he did so, the firearm fired striking Brown in the left pelvis area. Brown fell to the floor, saying: "You shot me," according to the report.

Braddy said he takes responsibility for the shooting but insists it was an accident, the report states.

Braddy, who stands well over 6-foot tall, spoke softly to the judge with bowed head when he finally arrived for the 15-minute hearing.

He at first refused to appear before Moreland but she wanted to make absolutely sure Braddy was offered the chance to come before her due to the gravity of the charge. "Was he offered to come to first appearance?" Moreland asked a bailiff, who said she was pretty sure he had been and had refused.

"This is a murder charge and I am not playing games," Moreland replied. "I want to know whom he told no to."

A few minutes later a deputy came forward and told Moreland that Braddy had changed his mind and would come before her.

"You asked and he will come," the deputy said. "They are getting him ready." Soon after, Moreland told Braddy via TV hook-up he would not be able to bond out of jail.

Assistant Public Defender Patrick Kane told Braddy not to discuss his case with anyone but investigators and the public defender's office.

Braddy said he had already talked to investigators Monday morning, which Kane said he understood.

Assistant State Attorney Pamela Buha said she was pleased with the judge's decision. Before the hearing started, Buha said she would request bond be set at $1 million if there had to be a bond.

"Holding him on no bond means he will remain in custody and not be a danger to the community," Buha said.

Since the State Attorney's Office just received the paperwork on the case Monday morning, Buha said she could not comment yet on a motive for the homicide, but she had no doubt Braddy was the perpetrator.

"Absolutely," Buha said. "We believe Mr. Braddy committed this crime."

Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7072 or via Twitter @ RichardDymond.

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