Victim Gives Emotional Statement Criticizing DA and Defendant

By Elizabeth Cho

SACRAMENTO – The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office was sharply criticized by the victim of a burglary when the office agreed to a plea deal that reduced the charges and penalty here in Superior Court last week.

Richard Bradley was charged with felony breaking and entering with the intent to use a deadly weapon, but the DA and Bradley’s attorney came to an agreement, pleading down the charge to misdemeanor trespassing.

And during part of Bradley’s settlement hearing, the victim was not only upset at the defendant but at the DA’s office as well.

Ever since Bradley broke into their home, the victim said the family greatly feared for their lives. The incident has caused the victim to begin taking prescribed medication for anxiety and seek medical and mental help, and the victim is now suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which the crime triggered.

The victim also charged that the DA’s office has only furthered their pain.

“I feel that the courts do not take into consideration the victims in crimes and all the rights are given to the person committing the crime… I feel that the DA just wants to get this off their caseload because they do not want to bother with it, apparently because there was no bodily harm done.”

Before this case, Bradley was charged with another crime, which was pleaded down and he was set free. And less than 30 days later, he committed another crime, the one against the current victim. The victim stated that giving Bradley a low sentence for his prior crime enabled him to commit the recent crime.

Before finishing their statement, the victim asked for a stay-away order against the defendant, which included their home, work, and the victim’s son’s school.

In response to the victim’s statement, the judge sympathized with them and their frustration. However, he wanted to make it clear that the DA’s office was still doing everything per their due diligence.

“The reason that [the DA’s Office] dealt this plea bargain is because this is what they felt that they could prove… I’m so very sorry for your frustration but I’m confident that if the DA felt that they could prove the more serious charge, [the DA’s office] would have attempted to do so,” the court said.

The defendant’s attorney then stated that the defendant would like to apologize to the victim for what he had done. And although the defendant did “apologize from the bottom of his heart,” Bradley aimed to convince the victim that he did nothing wrong.

“It was never my intention to hurt people… I had actually smelled gas and it was a split-second decision, I was actually trying to save your life,” he said.

To that, the victim responded that they do not accept Bradley’s apology, as they felt it was not an apology to begin with. They also stated that this only furthered their frustration with the case and that it would continue to heighten their anxiety.

But despite not forgiving Bradley in court, the victim said that they genuinely hoped that Bradley would turn his life around. They said that, while Bradley has forever negatively affected their life, they had and would continue to pray for Bradley.

After the victim’s response, the judge granted their request for a stay-away order against Bradley, who was sentenced to 180 days in county jail. However, he’s been in custody since February 24, and now will be released for time served.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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