Brandon Bradley's defense focuses on mental health before resting case

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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Paranoid, distorted and fearful were just a few words Brandon Bradley's defense witness used to describe his state of mind leading up to the killing of Brevard County Deputy Barbara Pill.

Bradley is charged with the March 2012 killing of Pill. His defense team rested its case Monday after testimony from Dr. Jaquelyn Olander, a neuropsychologist who evaluated Bradley in jail and described him as paranoid and easily manipulated.

On the stand, Olander questioned Bradley's ability to waive his rights when he spoke with investigators. She also described Bradley as "significantly impaired."

Olander said that Bradley exhibited signs of a brain injury and was paranoid and easily manipulated.

Bradley is facing the death penalty if he's convicted of the first-degree premeditated murder charge.
 
Bradley and his co-defendant were both arrested shortly after that shooting near John Rodes Boulevard and Elena Way near Melbourne, when their SUV crashed into a drainage ditch. 

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Olander told jurors Bradley may have displayed evidence of a brain injury during his interrogation following the crash. 

"He fell off the chair and you could hear snoring," she said. "You hear mumbling."

Olander went on to say Bradley was paranoid and easily influenced. 

"He was very paranoid when I saw him," said Olander.

Bradley also talked about a history of hearing voices, but prosecutor Tom Brown pointed out the first time Bradley ever made mention of those voices was September 2012, months after his arrest.

"So, you've never seen in any records you've ever received from the school system any comments from a teacher that she observed this unusual behavior," said Brown.

Jurors were told Bradley's mental state is not a defense but can be used to determine if Bradley, who waived his Miranda rights, was in any condition to voluntarily speak with law enforcement.

Bradley chose not to take the stand in his defense.

Closing arguments are expected to begin Tuesday and then the jury will begin its deliberations.

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