By Sally Voth - firstname.lastname@example.org
But Sarah Bradley, who turned 17 two days after the Jan. 6 shooting, said she never took the threats to her boyfriend seriously.
No one disputes that Bradley, 48, shot the Strasburg High School student who was a week shy of his 17th birthday.
Defense attorney Gene Hart painted a picture of a man driven to violence after he was unable to keep his daughter and Barker apart, despite serving him with a trespass notice, and repeatedly calling law enforcement to his farm at 189 Wakemans Grove Road, Edinburg. Hart alleged Barker was providing Sarah Bradley with drugs and engaging in sexual activity with her.
He said jurors would have to judge "that frustration, that situation, that context, in that split second what's in that man's mind when he sees the intruder in his home, in his castle, poisoning and ruining his daughter."
Sarah Bradley denied that Barker was a corrupting influence, saying she usually supplied the marijuana.
And, as far as Hart's assertion that Bradley found his daughter clad in nothing but Barker's T-shirt and Barker naked in her closet in November -- which led to the trespass notice -- she said they'd thought it would be funny to dress Barker up in girl's clothes and had planned to show him to her brother. Barker was wearing boxers when her father found him, Sarah Bradley said, and besides the shirt, she had pajama pants on.
The teenagers began dating in mid-May 2008, Sarah Bradley testified, and at first, her father permitted the relationship. In fact, Barker helped him on his farm. However, the pair started missing curfew, "and Dad got pretty mad," Sarah Bradley said.
She said her father banned Barker from coming over last summer after learning she'd gone camping with him when she'd said she was staying at a friend's house.
"I finally came to the conclusion I wasn't going to see him unless I snuck him over," she said. "[Bradley] said if he ever saw him again, he would shoot him. I didn't think anything. All dads say that."
The day before his death, Barker arrived at the house, and Bradley ordered his daughter, who moved in last summer, back inside, she said, and went outside looking for him.
"Dad said it was lucky he wasn't there, or else he would've ended it, and I didn't know what that meant at the time, but now I do," Sarah Bradley said.
Jan. 6 was a snow day, and while her father was outside, she called Barker and invited him over. He hesitated because her father was on the farm.
"[I said], 'It will be fine, I promise,'" Sarah Bradley testified.
The two went up to the attic. When Sarah Bradley heard her father in the home, she went downstairs. He didn't believe her when she'd told him she'd been on the second floor of the three-story home, she said.
After watching TV with his daughter, Bradley went upstairs, and she returned to the attic, where she and Barker smoked marijuana. When she worried that her father was looking for her again, she went to the attic door, but it was blocked with a hamper, Sarah Bradley testified. She told Barker to hide.
The door opened, and her father pushed her out of the way, shining a flashlight, she said.
"I saw him lift his hand with the flashlight on Brendon and in a split second he lifted [his] other hand and he shot him," Sarah Bradley said.
She said her father then said, "'This is your fault. I told you to end it, and you didn't, and now it's done.'"
Sarah Bradley ran to Barker, telling him to get up.
"But, he didn't answer," she said. "[I said], 'You're scaring me. Please, just answer.' [I thought maybe] he could be OK if I called an ambulance, so I kept talking to him, telling him it was going to be OK. Then, I looked up and saw that he was shot in the head. I just lost it."
She found her father in the kitchen taking apart the gun.
"He said, 'My life's over, Brendon's life's over, but you still have yours. Do with it what you wish,'" she said.
Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Kenneth Alger played the 911 call she made.
"My dad just killed my boyfriend," a sobbing Sarah Bradley could be heard saying. "He shot him and he killed him."
She handed the phone off to her father.
"I shot an intruder in my home," he can be heard saying in a flat tone as his daughter sobs in the background. "I'm sure the police will be here quickly now."
As he cross-examined Sarah Bradley, Hart showed the jury pictures of Barker's abdominal muscles and of her smoking pot the day of the shooting.
Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office investigator Lt. John Thomas testified that during the interview where he admitted to detectives that he'd shot Barker, Bradley's demeanor was "calm and non-emotional."
Hart was incredulous that the interview wasn't taped and notes weren't taken. Thomas said he didn't take notes because he planned to immediately write up the report, but it wasn't written until more than 24 hours later.
The trial continues at 9 a.m. today.