Bradshaw undergoing evaluation prior to sentencing, trial decision
A former sheriff’s deputy found guilty of two felony counts for an alleged road rage incident has been ordered detained in a state correctional facility for a 60-day evaluation while the court considers final sentencing and a motion for a new trial.
David Bradshaw, 43, of Roswell was found guilty May 1 by a Chaves County jury of child abuse without great bodily harm, a third-degree felony, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a fourth-degree felony, as well as two firearm enhancements. The charges arose from an incident that occurred March 18, 2018, when Bradshaw was off duty as a Chaves County sheriff’s deputy. He was charged in April 2018.
Calls to Bradshaw’s new attorney, Jason Bowles of Albuquerque, and the special prosecutor in the case, John P. Sugg of the New Mexico 12th Judicial District Court in Alamogordo, were not returned prior to press time.
According to court documents and testimony, Bradshaw’s account of the March 2018 incident is that he observed a Roswell man driving recklessly — above the speed limit, in violation of traffic rules and coming close to hitting vehicles — and, as a deputy and DWI enforcement officer, felt compelled in the interest of preserving public safety to follow the man, while also calling on-duty sheriff’s deputies to report the situation. He said his intent was to issue a summons for reckless driving.
Bradshaw said that instead a confrontation occurred after the two arrived at the man’s house on South Washington Avenue. The man approached Bradshaw’s pickup with a pistol in his pocket, according to Bradshaw. Bradshaw said he kept his gun holstered, but identified himself as a law enforcement officer and showed the other driver that he had a gun on him.
Eventually the on-duty sheriff’s deputies arrived to take over, asking Bradshaw to leave the scene. Bradshaw’s son, 2 years old at that time, was in his pickup with him during the pursuit and confrontation. He said that he had his son get out of his booster safety seat to lie under the front seat of the truck during the confrontation at the man’s house.
While Bradshaw described himself as an officer acting reasonably out of his concern for public safety, the other driver and special prosecutor Sugg characterized Bradshaw as an irate, profanity-spewing man upset that the other driver had cut him off on North Washington Avenue.
The driver had said he was frightened by being followed by an unmarked car and admitted to speeding up and taking many turns to try to shake off the pursuer. He and prosecutors said that Bradshaw had acted threateningly by blocking the man’s driveway and pointing a gun at him.
While Bradshaw and attorney Bowles had requested that Bradshaw be released to his house with electronic monitoring pending a decision about the new trial, Judge Raymond Romero instead ordered on July 12 that he be taken into custody and detained in a state correctional facility for 60 days while he undergoes evaluation. The results of that evaluation are intended to be used to determine final sentencing or whether Bradshaw would remain free pending a new trial.
In arguing for another trial, Bradshaw and Bowles contend that testimony and evidence not presented during the first trial will prove that Bradshaw was acting reasonably and in accordance with professional standards.
Sugg has asked the court to deny the new trial, saying that the new testimony or evidence might provide additional information but would not provide materially new information that would result in different verdicts. He also argued against the release of Bradshaw.
The firearm enhancements carry a minimum one-year and possible two-year sentences. The two felony counts could carry a sentence of up to four-and-half years.
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.