No Charges for Man Who Shot and Killed Alleged Trespasser

The Jackson County District Attorney’s Office announced this week that after a thorough review of the evidence collected by the Jackson County Sheriffs Office, that no criminal charges will be filed concerning the death of Brian Patrick Arnold.

It was determined that the shooter, Bill Gene Bradley, reasonably believed he was acting in self- defense, when he fired twice as Mr. Arnold reached into his jacket as he charged Mr. Bradley.

On February 6th, 2022, at approximately 7:12 p.m., ECSO Dispatch received a call from Shirley Bradley. Mrs. Bradley reported that her husband, Bill Bradley, had gone to the neighbor’s property at 611 Savage Creek, to tell trespassers to leave the property and she heard two gunshots from that vicinity. Mrs. Bradley and, later, Mr. Bradley were on the phone with dispatchers waiting for law enforcement to arrive. Their daughter attempted to render aid to Brian Arnold until law enforcement arrived. While waiting for law enforcement, Bill Bradley tells the dispatcher that Mr. Arnold rushed him and Mr. Bradley thought Mr. Arnold had a gun.

When Jackson County Deputies arrived, they found Mr. Arnold had suffered a single gunshot wound to his head, and near his body was a small black colored flashlight. Mr. Arnold was transported to Rogue Regional Medical Center. On scene deputies recovered two .22 caliber shell casings and .22 caliber Beretta near the gate area where Mr. Bradley fired the gun. Mr. Bradley agreed to go to the Jackson County Sheriffs Office to be interviewed by detectives.

Detectives interviewed Mr. Bradley, who indicated that the property owner of 611 Savage Creek, Travis Marvin, had requested that Mr. Bradley watch out for trespasser on the property. Mr. Bradley said that around 7:00pm he saw some vehicle lights on the property so he grabbed his handgun and put it in his pocket. He stated he walked down a path and came out in the driveway of 611 Savage Creek behind the gate. Mr.Bradley saw a younger looking man and told him to leave and that “Travis” did not tell him anyone would be on the property. After Mr. Bradley turned his flashlight on, and said he was going to have his wife call the police this younger man said, “I am leaving.” As this guy walked away, Mr. Bradley stated that Mr. Arnold started to hurriedly approach the gate. Mr. Bradley stated that Mr. Arnold was arguing with him, and
when he got to within about twenty feet of the gate, Mr. Arnold reached into his jacket and pulled out an object. Mr. Bradley believed the object was a gun, so he fired twice because he was in fear for his life and thought at his age and with his health conditions there was nothing else he could do. He stated that after Mr. Arnold hit the ground, he saw the flashlight near Mr. Arnold’s hand and realized it was not a gun.

During the interview with Mr. Bradley, a break was taken so Travis Marvin could be contacted. A detective contacted Mr. Marvin and was able to confirm that Mr. Marvin had requested Mr. Bradley keep an eye on the property. Mr. Marvin shared with the detective that in mid-January 2022 he had gone through the eviction process to get squatters off the property. Mr. Marvin also confirmed that he told Mr. Bradley that no one should be on that property, and that if someone had permission to be on the property Mr. Marvin would alert Mr. Bradley.

After Mr. Bradley’s interview was completed, he agreed to walk detectives through what he did at the 611 Savage Creek scene. The walk through was consistent with what Mr. Bradley had told detectives during the interview and with the evidence on scene.

During the investigation, detectives were able to identify the other potential eye witness described by Mr. Bradley as a younger male. This individual was identified as David Hamilton. A detective was able to track down Mr. Hamilton for a phone interview during the evening hours of February 7, 2022. During this interview he claimed the Mr. Arnold was having a calm discussion with Mr. Bradley and started walking toward him, and Mr. Bradley just pulled out the gun and shot. Mr. Hamilton claimed he was afraid and hid in a ditch before walking down the road and getting a ride. He claimed he was too scared to talk to the police. Mr. Hamilton also claimed to have messages indicating that Mr. Marvin gave them permission to be on the property. The detective set up a time to meet with Mr. Hamilton the next day to get a more detailed statement and see the messages. After several attempts by detectives to locate Mr. Hamilton, an in-person interview was done on February 15, 2022. During this interview Mr. Hamilton said several things that contradicted evidence on scene, such as how the truck was parked, that Mr. Arnold had his phone in his hand (the phone was recovered inside of Mr. Arnold’s truck), and then Mr. Hamilton indicated that Mr. Bradley got in a car and chased Mr. Hamilton. He stated that is why he ran and hid. This is inconsistent with Mr. Bradley being on the phone with dispatch. The detective in this case indicated in his report that Mr. Hamilton’s statement lacked credibility and was not supported by known facts or physical evidence.

Mr. Arnold passed away from the injury caused by the gunshot to his head on February 13, 2022. An autopsy was performed on February 16, 2022 and it was determined that Mr. Arnold died from a single gunshot wound to his head. A review of his medical records indicated that on the night he was transported to the hospital, Mr. Arnold tested positive for amphetamine, benzodiazepine, and alcohol in his system.

Oregon Law provides that a person may use deadly physical force against another person if the person reasonably believes that person is about to commit or attempt to commit a felony involving the use or threatened imminent use of physical force against another or if that person is about to use deadly physical force against the person or another person (ORS 161.219-ORS 161.239). In Oregon when self-defense is at issue in a criminal case, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defense is not applicable. The investigation and evidence in this case would not allow the State to disprove Mr. Bradley’s self-defense claim beyond a reasonable doubt. Mr. Bradley’s statement that he believed Mr. Arnold was pulling out a gun, and that Mr. Arnold was “rushing” toward him, would allow a reasonable person in Mr. Bradley’s position to fear for their safety and use deadly physical force.

The other eye witness who provided contradictory evidence regarding the reasonableness of Mr. Bradley’s actions lacked credibility, according to the interviewing detective because the statement was inconsistent with other evidence. Although Mr. Bradley was mistaken about a gun being in Mr. Arnold’s hand, it is reasonable that someone in Mr. Bradley’s position could be mistaken about the gun and use deadly physical force in self-defense.

Courtesy of JCDA

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