EMBARGOED UNTIL: October 24, 2008
Yakima, Wash. - Prosecutors and defense attorneys today attended a "status conference" in Yakima Superior Court in the case of Ted Louis Bradford, a Yakima man who served a nine year sentence on rape and burglary charges before his conviction was overturned based on DNA evidence.
Bradford completed his prison term of nine years in August of 2005 and has lived in Yakima since that time. Bradford was arrested at his home on October 7, 2008 after Yakima County Prosecutors Office refiled the same charges against him.
"Ted Bradford is innocent," said Jacqueline McMurtrie, professor of law at the University of Washington, director of the Innocence Project Northwest Clinic, and one of Bradford's attorneys. "He has already lost nine years and shouldn't be recharged for a crime he did not commit."
"Twelve years ago, Yakima Police told Mr. Bradford they had DNA from the scene of the crime," said Felix G. Luna, of Peterson Young Putra, who also represents Bradford. "They told him the DNA would prove him guilty. But it didn't."
The evidence recently was retested by the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab using more sophisticated testing procedures. The Crime Lab reported the presence of a male DNA profile that did not match Bradford's DNA.
Judge Robert Hackett, Jr. of the Yakima County Superior Court wrote in an October 2006 opinion that the DNA evidence "was new evidence, not previously available, that when considered when the other evidence admitted at Mr. Bradford's trial would probably change the result of that trial." Based on Judge Hackett's findings, the Court of Appeals reversed Bradford's conviction on August 14, 2007.
"Every day Yakima officials spend pursuing Mr. Bradford is another day they should be looking for the guy who actually committed this crime," said Luna.