5.05.2010

TS - Robin Bradshaw sentencing postponed; prosecutors still weighing charging decision

Robin Bradshaw sentencing postponed; prosecutors still weighing charging decision
Thadeus Greenson/The Times-Standard
Posted: 05/05/2010 03:10:30 AM PDT

A sentencing hearing for a McKinleyville man accused of killing his wife was postponed Tuesday to allow prosecutors more time to decide how to proceed with the case.

Robin Stuart Bradshaw entered into a plea agreement last December under which he pleaded guilty to a single count of voluntary manslaughter upon a sudden quarrel or in the heat of passion and agreed to lead police to the body of his wife, Monica Bradshaw, which he had buried in an undeveloped area outside McKinleyville some 18 months earlier. He faces a 12-year prison sentence under the agreement.

But that agreement is contingent on forensic pathologist Dr. Mark Super's autopsy examination of the remains finding forensic evidence that corroborates Robin Bradshaw's version of events -- that he struck his wife over the head and shoulders two or three times with a metal bar, but only after she first assaulted him with the weapon.

Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos received Super's report last week, but has yet to decide how to proceed with the case. At Tuesday's hearing, Bradshaw's attorney, Peter Martin, said Gallegos had contacted him asking that the sentencing hearing be postponed.
”He wants more time, I believe, to review the medical report and to request supporting materials from the medical examiner,” Martin said.

Super's report listed blunt force injuries as the cause of Monica Bradshaw's death, but suggested she may have suffered other injuries that could contradict her husband's story. In addition to finding evidence that Monica Bradshaw suffered at least one severe blunt impact to the head that fractured her skull, Super's report also notes that both ends of her hyoid bone -- a horseshoe-shaped bone found in the middle of the neck -- were fractured off, which could indicate strangulation.

Because the body was buried for 18 months, Super could not test for other symptoms of strangulation, like bruising around the neck or subconjunctive hemorrhages, and was unable to determine whether Monica Bradshaw had been strangled.

Monica Bradshaw was last seen in late summer 2008, and was never reported missing. Robin Bradshaw was arrested June 12, after an extensive investigation by the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office. The investigation began after an insurance agent grew suspicious when Robin Bradshaw allegedly attempted to submit a fraudulent claim on his wife's auto policy. He allegedly disguised his voice to sound like hers at one point, and had his 31-year-old girlfriend pretend to be her at another, according to court documents.

At Tuesday's hearing, Humboldt County Deputy District Attorney Arnie Klein also tried to pass along a pair of letters -- one of which was reportedly written by Monica Bradshaw's sister, Caroline Sheffield -- to Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Joyce Hinrichs, noting that both were addressed to her and marked “urgent.”

Hinrichs said she couldn't receive the letters, as ex-parte communications cannot be considered by the court and must be entered into a case either through the involved attorneys or the county probation report. Noting that Sheffield may be voicing her unhappiness with the plea agreement in the letter, Hinrichs said she would have her secretary return them, unopened, so they can be resubmitted through the proper channels.

Bradshaw is due to reappear in court May 27 for a status conference, at which point, prosecutors are expected to either proceed with the plea agreement or announce that they will pursue the original murder charge facing Bradshaw.

Thadeus Greenson can be reached at 441-0509 or tgreenson@times-standard.com

PREVIOUSLY:
DA's office (Paul Gallegos) still undecided in Bradshaw case; Gallegos to talk to pathologist next week May 28, 2010
Bradshaw sentencing postponed, Gallegos "weighing" decision May 5, 2010
...Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos received Super's report last week, but has yet to decide how to proceed with the case. At Tuesday's hearing, Bradshaw's attorney, Peter Martin, said Gallegos had contacted him asking that the sentencing hearing be postponed.

”He wants more time, I believe, to review the medical report and to request supporting materials from the medical examiner,” Martin said....

”It's going to be something Paul's going to have to think about.” April 27, 2010
-- Bradshaw autopsy report with Humboldt County DA; indicates blunt force trauma as cause of death
Autopsy report coming in Bradshaw case; plea agreement hinges on results for McKinleyville man accused of wife's murder APRIL 24, 2010
Bradshaw positively identified; full autopsy report pending more test results FEBRUARY 01, 2010
Autopsy set for Sunday in Bradshaw case JANUARY 23, 2010
ANOTHER PLEA DEAL - Bradshaw agreed to give location of body in plea deal JANUARY 09, 2010
Robin Stuart Bradshaw entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors last month, agreeing to disclose the location of his wife's body and plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter, court records show.
Authorities believe they have found the body of missing McKinleyville woman JANUARY 08, 2010
The person further told investigators, according to the affidavit, that Robin Bradshaw confessed to first burying his wife in a shallow grave in the backyard of his home, only to later dig her body up and bury it on an undeveloped Danco subdivision off of Fieldbrook Road in McKinleyville.
Hearing for McKinleyville murder case continued NOVEMBER 05, 2009
Bradshaw Prelim continued to Nov. 5 SEPTEMBER 30, 2009
Prelim for Robin Stuart Bradshaw JULY 07, 2009
Bradshaw pleads not guilty to murdering wife June 16, 2009
Robin Stuart Bradshaw, arrested JUNE 16, 2009
Second search warrant issued in missing woman case - and a request to seal documents January 29, 2009
Monica Bradshaw: MISSING January 27, 2009