Local

Inmate found dead in Galveston Co. Jail

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

In October, Dennis Bradford was arrested for a horrific crime that happened 20 years ago -- raping an eight-year-old girl and leaving her for dead in a field.

Now he'll never go to trial because on Monday morning, deputies found him dead in his jail cell, and there was nothing natural or accidental about the way he died.

Police said Bradford took his own life early Monday morning. He was at the center of a two-decade long cold case in Dickinson.

The discovery was made early this morning inside a single man cell at the Galveston County Jail. Deputies say Bradford hanged himself with a noose from a bed cover.

The 40-year-old was awaiting trial on attempted capital murder charges in one of Dickinson's most remembered cases.

"I'd like to thank everyone," said his victim, Jennifer Schuett right after his arrest.

Just last October, the victim in that case spoke following his arrest. Schuett was just eight years old when she was kidnapped from her bed, sexually assaulted and left to die with a cut throat. She not only survived but lived to speak about his arrest almost two decades later.

"I hope that my case will remain as a reminder to all victims of violent crime to never give up hope in seeking justice," she said, "no matter how long it may take or how hard it may be."

She saw the day her accused attacked was handcuffed and locked up, but Bradford's suicide came before she had her day in court. Schuett has said she came forward in order to encourage others who may be waiting for justice.

Schuett did not talk on camera about Bradford's suicide, but she did post a statement on her website, JusticeforJennifer.com, which reads, in part, "I am shocked and disappointed at the news of Bradford resorting to suicide, as I looked forward to facing him in the courtroom this fall, and now feel as though I was robbed of that opportunity... I will continue to use my voice and advocate for other victims of crime."

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galveston, local, christine dobbyn
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