PB officer pleads no contest to charges in July accident

A Pine Bluff police officer who admitted lying to Arkansas State Police investigators about a one-vehicle accident in October 2011 pleaded no contest to charges in the case Thursday.

Billy Bradley, 43, originally was charged with leaving the scene of a personal-injury accident, a Class D felony, as well as misdemeanor charges of inadequate insurance and reckless driving.

An agreement worked out with prosecutors and Bradley’s attorney, Greg Robinson, allowed Bradley to plead no contest to an amended charge of failure to stop after an accident, a Class A misdemeanor, as well as inadequate insurance and reckless driving, which was also amended to include a charge of first-offense DWI.

Bradley’s son Briston, was injured in the accident on Oct. 8, 2011 . As a part of the agreement, Billy Bradley paid $8,000 in restitution for Briston’s medical bills when he entered the plea.

“We considered all the facts and discussed the matter with the passenger in the car and entering this plea was the best resolution for all the interested parties,” said Deputy Prosecutor Bryan Achorn, who represented the state along with Deputy Prosecutor Jill Reed and was preparing to go to trial on the case had Bradley not taken the plea.

Bradley was sentenced to 12 months in prison on one count of failure to stop after an accident and inadequate insurance and three months on the reckless driving charge. All those sentences, which were to run at the same time, were suspended.

Sentencing on the first offense DWI was delayed pending the completion of a pre-sentencing report. Bradley probably will occur within about two weeks. Prosecutors have agreed to recommend a fine and community service for that charge, with all the community service to be performed with the sheriff’s department Clean Team. Bradley could have been sentenced to up to a year in jail for the first-offense DWI.

Bradley was fined $500, ordered to pay $150 court costs, $20 booking and administration fee and $50 sheriff’s fee. He also was ordered to perform 40 hours of community service.

Interim Police Chief Jeff Hubanks said Bradley has been performing non-enforcement related duties and “when everything is settled, he will go back on duty.”

He said the issues that were involved in the plea do not impact Bradley’s certification as a police officer, and said he would receive no discipline from this administration, but believed that former chief Brenda Davis-Jones had imposed disciplinary action on Bradley last year when the charges were filed.

Bradley surrendered to state police investigators on July 13 and was released after posting bond.

The accident was reported at the Interstate 530/U.S. 65 interchange. According to a probable cause affidavit from State Police Special Agent Rick Newton, two individuals, Cedric Jackson and Ronald Spears, “loaded up” Bradley to take him to the hospital after the accident and Bradley told Jackson and Spears “to take him home.”

The morning after the accident, Bradley told troopers that Briston had been driving, According to Newton’s affidavit, that statement “was a lie and he knew he (Bradley) was the operator.”

Bradley also told Newton that he had been racing Cedric Jackson and “Jackson hit his brakes in front of him, causing him to hit his brakes and losing control of his vehicle resulting in the accident.”

Had Bradley gone to trial and been convicted of the felony charge, he could have been sentenced to up to six years in prison and/or fined up to $1,000.