Sisters of burned TX mom say they feared brother

AP News
Posted: May 10, 2011 7:41 PM
Sisters of burned TX mom say they feared brother

Two sisters of the man accused of setting their mother ablaze before trying to sexually assault a school teacher at knifepoint said Tuesday that they long feared his violent temper but don't know what sparked the outburst on his daughter's 11th birthday.

Cheryl Bozeman and Theresa Johnson said one wrong word could set off their 32-year-old brother, George James Bradley, whom they say has some form of schizophrenia.

"You never knew when he was going to go off, act up," Bozeman said. "He would just do it."

Police say Bradley doused his mother with a flammable liquid and set her afire at a Lubbock apartment complex before going to a nearby school where he tried to sexually assault a teacher at knifepoint. The superintendent broke down the door to help free her.

Bradley's mother, Bertha Bradley, 69, remained in critical condition with third-degree burns over 55 percent of her body. The sisters said their mother's chances for survival are about 50 percent. She is sedated and doctors have inserted a breathing tube, they said.

"I don't think that he knew what he was really doing," Bozeman said. "He knew he had done something to mom but I don't think he understood."

Bradley, faces charges of murder, aggravated assault and attempted sexual assault, remained in the Lubbock County Detention Center with bail set at $300,000.

One of Bradley's two court-attorneys in the case, Mark Snodgrass, declined to comment.

The sisters said that on Monday, the 11th birthday of Bradley's daughter, something triggered their brother's violent side. Generally, if he didn't get what he wanted he could become "very dangerous" and harm someone, Johnson said.

In a tape of the 911 call to police, a woman in the school office is heard telling the dispatcher what the intruder wore and that he had a knife. Screams are heard in the background as the dispatcher asks whether the man is OK with her being on the phone.

The dispatcher then asks if the woman has anything with which to defend herself. Before she gets a response, the woman comes back on the line to say that police had arrived at the school.

Bradley recently spent 30 days at Lubbock Regional Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center, the sisters said. He was on medication before he went in for the evaluation and told those at the center that he was hearing voices in his head, they said.

At the end of the 30 days Bradley's family fought against his release, the sisters said. Bozeman said MHMR personnel told the family to take Bradley to Salvation Army. He was released from the center on May 2.

"It was my mom that told them she didn't think he was ready," Johnson said. "We knew he wasn't right then."

Beth Lawson, associate chief executive officer with the center, declined to comment.

The family tried to get Bradley help. They couldn't get him more help with his mental health because he lacked insurance or Medicaid coverage.

This is not the first time Bradley has faced criminal charges. He has served time for deadly conduct, drug charges and for aggravated assault on a public servant, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Bozeman said her emotions are very mixed now.

"My brother did this to my mom," she said. "I'm going to try to find it in my heart to forgive, to move on. But I don't know how to do that or when that will happen."