Brandon Bradley found guilty of deputy's murder

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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Brandon Bradley was found guilty of murdering Brevard County Deputy Barbara Pill Tuesday afternoon. The jury returned a guilty verdict shortly before 4:30 p.m.

"We the jury find as follows, the defendant is guilty of first-degree murder," the clerk said as she read the verdict form.

Jurors left the courtroom around 2:45 p.m. to begin deliberating the fate of Bradley. It took them around 90 minutes to arrive at the guilty verdict.

Bradley, as he has throughout the trial, appeared emotionless as the verdict was read.

"It's been an emotional roller coaster since it happened," Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said after the verdict. "We miss Barbara, love to have her back."

Ivey said that Pill's family is pleased with the guilty verdict.

"Our position has always been the same. Take a person with evil in his heart off the streets so they can never harm anyone else again," Ivey said.

Jurors will return Thursday morning to begin hearing the penalty phase of the trial. The state is seeking the death penalty.

Bradley and his co-defendant, Andria Kerchner, were both arrested shortly after the 2012 shooting near John Rodes Boulevard and Elena Way near Melbourne, when their SUV crashed into a drainage ditch.

On Tuesday, prosecutors called the evidence against Bradley overwhelming, and reminded the jury of the dashcam video that shows Pill's death, the DNA evidence and witness testimony linking Bradley to the crime.

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Bradley's defense team wasn't denying Bradley's involvement in the case. Instead, the defense implied law enforcement might have a vested interest in catching the person who killed one of their own, but stopped short of denying any involvement by Bradley.

They argued the crime was not felony murder in an attempt to save him from death row.

"It's not whodunit, this case is a lesser degree homicide," defense attorney Mark Lanning said.

On Monday, Bradley's defense team called a witness who said Bradley may have suffered a brain injury from the crash.

The witness also said Bradley was under the influence of drugs when he waived his rights and spoke with investigators about the deadly confrontation with Pill.

A state's witness, however, said Bradley showed no signs of impairment, and the prosecution said he was ready and willing to shoot any officer who stood in his way.

Bradley chose not to take the stand in his defense.

The jury also found Bradley guilty of robbery, fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer with violence.

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