nvdaily.com link to home page
Home | Archive | Weather | Traffic
Subscribe | Guide to the Daily

News arrow Courts & Legal News arrow Jody Lynn Bradley arrow Shenandoah County

Print | Buy Photos | Get E-mail Alerts | Follow Us On Twitter | Visit Us On Facebook |
Star Click on headline to recommend this story | asterisk asterisk denotes breaking news

| 0 | 12 Comments

Daughter says she didn't believe father would carry out his threats

By Sally Voth - svoth@nvdaily.com

WOODSTOCK -- Murder suspect Jody Lynn Bradley had threatened to shoot 16-year-old Brendon Manning Barker many times before he actually pulled the trigger, the defendant's daughter testified Tuesday, the first day of his trial in Shenandoah County Circuit Court.

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.

Comments policy

Comments that are posted on nvdaily.com represent the opinion of the commenter and not the Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com. Commenters agree to abide by our Comments Policy when posting. If you feel that a post is objectionable or does not adhere to our comments policy, please e-mail us at info@nvdaily.com.



The father gave warning and obtained a no tresspass against
the punk. WHY is he on trial? NOT GUILTY!!!
Iwould do the same.


What a moron. He is on trial because it was an execution. Not self defense, not protecting his home, an execution. There are a lot of other ways he could have been handled the situation. That's what grownups are supposed to do. He didn't break in, he was invited. Before you say you'd do the same imagine what trauma your daughter would experience seeing someone, not to mention her boyfriend, executed in front of her.


UHHH He killed a person. He should get the death sentence, and how can he say to his daughter 'My life's over, Brendon's life's over, but you still have yours. Do with it what you wish. UMMM now she can do what she wishes with her life after he kills her boyfriend?? I understand as a parent you want the best for your children but he went about it the wrong way. The more you try to control a teenager the more they are going to react. Teenagers are going to want to experience things in life, thats what you have to except when you have children. Plus the girl is the one who pushed the issue of the boy coming over, so it's partly her fault. In any case her father sounds like a mental case anyway.


Are you kidding me??? I don't care how many times he warned that kid. No child deserves to be killed. He knew who it was, he SHOULD have called the police again.


Granted the boy had no business being there but he did not deserve to die. He was just a kid who wanted to spend time with his girlfriend.


the guy you call a punk his name was brendon and he was a great guy. He was sweet and kind and could make anyones day. But you wouldn't know that because you didn't know him and his life got taken away before he really got to live it. I don't know what the jury will decide but I hope that they put bradley away for a long long time. Nothing will ever bring brendon back but bradley deserves to be punished for taking him away from everyone who loved and cared about him.


Not Guilty? How does one admit to shooting a child in the head become not guilty? He's using drugs as his defence and yet he knew of the drugs. He didn't think before he acted made a mess up and has no way to fix it. My heart goes out to Sara and her family as well as Brendon's family. I only hope our judicial system works for these families and places this man where he belongs so that he can't hurt another child!


I do not agree that Bradley shot Barker to death but he had several warnings to not be there.
If Barker really cared for Sarah he would have respected the fact that her father would not allow him over to see her and this would never have happend.
The question we should be asking is why didn't his parents make sure he was not going back to the Bradley's home when he had been served with trespass notices?
Instead of just putting down Mr. Bradley why don't we also blame Barkers parents for having no control over their child?

Cathy C

Think you should go to trial and hear evidence before you call anyone a moron. He was wearing a hood covering both sides of his face, and Jody had already decided Sarah had told the truth and was noone up there and on his way OUT when in the dark a hooded figure moved startling him. I kind of would have liked to see toxicology reports myself...because kids who admit to doing drugs usually don't make wise decisions. I know..I was young once too. I was smart enough to sneak out..not bring in a boyfriend to my dad's house. Jody is also a very good person, who works very hard for his family & children whom he loves very much. Jody did everything legally he was told to do. He did not see Brendon's face, and even if he had...it startled him and he shot...just as he does groundhogs etc. It was NOT an execution. The whole situation is a sad lesson not only for teenagers who disobey their parents, do drugs and think that at 16 they can do what they want...it is also a VERY good lesson for every parent out there with a rebellious teen. Jody loved his daughter enough to do all he could to straighten her out...and now he may be punished for being a father? And the really sad thing he is...to him I think as long as her life has gotten better, he seems willing to take the fall for the actions and NON actions of many other people in the situation. My prayers go to all, I work with recovering addicts...and this is just another sad story of life today in this world it seems....


How dare every single one of you to say that Brendon deserved this. How can you sit there and blame him? Blame his parents? He was a 16 year old CHILD in love with his girlfriend. Teenagers make mistakes. It happens. Sarah made it very clear that Brendon was not 'poisoning' her. Bradley is an adult. And yes while adults make mistakes as well, killing an innocent child with so much life to live is not one that is excusable. He is guilty. He stood 2 feet away and pulled the trigger. We can sit here and debate all day about the fact that Brendon was not supposed to be on the property. What was Sarah thinking when she invited him over? But the bottom line is Brendon was taken away from his family and his friends far sooner than anyone ever deserves to. Sarah lost two of the closest people in her life with one shot; with one awful, horrendous decision. Brendon was not a punk. He was not a bad kid. He made mistakes like everyone does. But what makes any of you think that he deserved to of been killed for that, is beyond me.


It is as simple as this... Bradley is not God and had not right to take Brendon's life. My heart goes out to Brendon's family and Sarah. They were just kids experimenting like most of them do ... young love.


Cathy c,
You say he did everything he was legally told to do. I assume this means the no trespassing notice, and, o wait? He was legally given a murder notice with that? How can you say he did everything he was told to do legally? When did they start handing out those murder certificates? He was not startled, whether the kid was wearing a hood or not. He was fully prepared to kill this boy, he suspected it was him in the house when he blocked the door and went for his gun. Legally he wasn't even supposed to use that firearm, since he was held in commission of a felony. I don't even know what that felony would be, but it raises more red flags in my head as to what type of person this man is.

Leave a comment

What do you think?

(You may use HTML tags for style)

Recent Entries

Category Archives

News | Sports | Business | Lifestyle | Obituaries | Opinion | Multimedia| Entertainment | Homes | Classified
Guide to the Daily: Advertise | Circulation | Contact Us | NIE | Place a Classified | Privacy Policy | Subscribe

Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137

The best small daily newspaper in Virginia