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Man Convicted of Beating Girlfriend, Forcing Her To Jump From Moving Car

By: Eyewitness News; Julie Montanaro Email
By: Eyewitness News; Julie Montanaro Email

By: Julie Montanaro

The prosecutor confirms the woman beaten by Bradley Bruce jumped out of the car to get away, she was not pushed.

"She feared for her life and was trying to make a run for it," prosecutor Frank Allman said.


UPDATED 4.16.2013 by Julie Montanaro

A jury deliberated for an hour and 15 minutes before finding Bradley Bruce guilty of aggravated battery and grand theft of a motor vehicle.

It found him not guilty of kidnapping and robbery.

Bruce was promptly sentenced to 15 years in prison.


UPDATED 4.16.2013 by Julie Montanaro

A man accused of beating his girlfriend and pushing her out of a moving car is now awaiting a verdict.

Bradley Bruce is accused of kidnapping, aggravated battery, robbery and grand theft auto.

The jury started deliberating at about 4:30 this afternoon.

We'll keep you posted on a verdict.

We have exclusive video of Bradley Bruce as he took the stand in his own defense earlier this afternoon.

Bruce claims an argument between him and his girlfriend escalated from a shouting match at a beach motel to a death defying ride back on I-10.

He contends his girlfriend lied about being pregnant with his child ... and was distraught over their pending break up.

"I told her I didn't want anything to do with her," Bruce testified.

Bruce claims the woman tried to slam into the back of a semi and run the car off the road.

"We were headed off the road into the ditch. I swung my hand at her, instinct whatever, she had just about just killed us and I wanted to get her off the steering wheel," Bruce said.

Bruce claims when he eventually pulled off at the Highway 12 exit in Gadsden County, the woman bailed out of the car and he tried to stop her.

"The only thing I did was reach and grab and what I grabbed a hold to was her hair, and she was already going out the vehicle by then it didn't keep her in," he testified.

Prosecutors contend the eight-time felon beat the woman beyond recognition, left her for dead on the side of the road and drove off in her ford mustang.

Bruce was on the run for nearly two weeks before his arrest in Tampa.
frank

"You ran away?" prosecutor Frank Allman asked.

"Yes sir."

"Didn't call police?"

"No sir."

"Didn't call an ambulance did you?"

"No sir."


[UPDATE] 3-1 3:25pm --

Bradley Bruce was extradited to Gadsden County at around 2:45pm. Bruce is currently in the Gadsden County Jail.

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UPDATE 2-28

Deputies say residents can breath a sigh of relief now that 39 year old Bradley Bruce is in police custody.

Investigators say the Federal Marshals Task Force in Tampa captured him this morning.

Investigators say Bruce brutally attacked his girlfriend on I-10 on their ride back to Gadsden County from Panama City on February 10th. They say he beat her so severely she had major injuries to one of her eye sockets and was not recognizable from the chest up.

Bruce is scheduled for a first appearance tomorrow (Tuesday) morning in Pinellas County.

They're also holding a press conference releasing more details about Bruce's arrest

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[UPDATE] 2-28 12:30pm --

Lt. Corder with the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office told WCTV that Bradly Bruce, 38, was captured this morning in Tampa. Authorities have been looking for Bruce since Feb. 11.

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[UPDATE] 2-13 6:00pm

Authorities are still hunting for a man they say brutally beat his girlfriend and left her on the side of a road.
The Gadsden County Sheriff's office says they're widening their search for 38-year-old Bradley Bruce who is suspected beating his girlfriend beyond recognition, taking her money and car and leaving her on a dirt road.
They say they don't believe Bruce is in Gadsden County at this point... so they're expanding the search for him.
Authorities say Bruce may be armed and dangerous and may have a violent nature.
The Florida Department of Corrections reports that Bruce recently served a ten year sentence for aggravated assault and criminal mischief with property damage and was just released from prison in late October 2010.
The department also shows that the Tallahassee Police have an outstanding warrant on Bruce for a robbery charge.
Prison records show that Bruce has numerous tattoos covering his arms, legs, chest, neck, back, and stomach.
Authorities say if you see Bruce, do not approach him but call the authorities to report seeing him.

[UPDATE] 2-12 9:25AM

Gadsden County Deputies say the victim is out of the hospital and will be interviewed soon.

[UPDATE] 2-11

Deputies, dogs and helicopters are scouring Gadsden County and beyond for a man who they say brutally beat his girlfriend and left her on the side of the road.

38-year-old Bradley Bruce has been on the run since early this morning. Detectives say he brutally beat his girlfriend and left her for dead

There weren't many places you could go in Gretna Friday without seeing a law enforcement agent but who they were hoping to see was 38 year old Bradley Bruce.
A massive manhunt began in Gadsden County after deputies say Bruce severely beat his girlfriend.

Gretna resident, Todd Hill says, "We feel very sorry for her, sorry for the family. I know that his own family this has got to be hard on them. it's got to be hard on their hearts but they're going to have to do whatever is right. they'll just have to follow through with whatever the law will allow."

Deputies say they got the call around 6 o'clock Friday morning. They say Bruce's girlfriend told them that Bruce started beating her while they were in the car as he was driving from Panama City on I-10.

Gadsden County Sheriff's deputies say Bruce pulled over on a dirt road and continued to beat his girlfriend. They say he took her money and her car and left her there. Deputies say the woman somehow managed to make it here to this Burger King near the interstate off of exit 174.

More than 175 agents from several agencies searched for Bruce on foot and by vehicles, helicopters and airplanes. SWAT, tactical and K-9 units were, also, in action.

Major Shawn Woods (GCSO) says, "Several of my brother law enforcement officers here in the recent sacrificed their lives. It's important when you're dealing with situations where the individual might be armed that you take all precautions."

Investigators say Bruce's girlfriend was so badly beaten that she was hardly recognizable from her chest up.

Gretna resident Charlie Mae Kelly says, "For someone to beat somebody that badly, they don't deserve to be out. Do the crime, they're going to have to do the time."

Major Wood says they've extended the search to neighboring counties Leon, Liberty, Calhoun and Jackson.

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[UPDATE] 2-11 1:30PM --

At this time, police are escorting children to school buses, according to Shaia Beckwith-James, spokesperson for Gadsden County Schools. Parents are asked to meet their children at the bus stop and take them home.
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[UPDATE] 2-11 Noon --

Authorities from Gadsden and Leon Counties are teaming up to search for a convicted felon hiding in the woods in Gretna.

38-year-old Bradley Bruce is considered armed and dangerous.

Gadsden County Sheriff's Office says they received a call around 6 a.m. Friday morning. A woman says her boyfriend, Bradley Bruce, beat her up severely on their way back from Panama City.

The woman was able to get out of the car at a Burger King at I-10 and Highway 12. Deputies don't know the woman's condition, but they say she's in the hospital and hardly recognizable from the chest up. Investigators say she has major injuries to one of her eye sockets. Deputies, two helicopters, Leon County's SWAT team and K-9 units are all scouring the woods of Gretna in search of Bruce, who's from that area. They says he's armed and dangerous.

Shaia Beckwith-James, spokesperson for Gadsden County Schools, says three schools are now on lockdown because of the manhunt in Gretna. The schools on lockdown are West Gadsden, Gretna Elementary and Greensboro Elementary. She says deputies have secured the campuses and no one is being allowed or off until further notice. Parents are encouraged not to pick up their children.

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Shaia Beckwith-James, spokesperson for Gadsden County Schools, says three schools are now on lockdown because of the manhunt in Gretna. The schools on lockdown are West Gadsden, Gretna Elementary and Greensboro Elementary. She says deputies have secured the campuses and no one is being allowed or off until further notice.

Parents are encouraged not to pick up their children.

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[UPDATE] 2-11 11:00AM --

The main area of the search is being conducted around the I-10 corridor in Gretna, between Highway 65 to Highway 267, but authorities are searching all of Gretna as well.

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[UPDATE] 2-11 10:40AM --

Gadsden County Sheriff's Office says they received a call around 6 a.m. Friday morning. A woman says her boyfriend, Bradley Bruce, beat her up severely on their way back from Panama City. The woman was able to get out of the car at a Burger King at I-10 and Highway 12. Deputies don't know the woman's condition, but they say she's in the hospital and hardly recognizable from the chest up. Investigators say she has major injuries to one of her eye sockets. Deputies, two helicopters, Leon County's SWAT team and K-9 units are all scouring the woods of Gretna in search of Bruce, who's from that area. They says he's armed and dangerous.

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[UPDATE] 2-11 9:25AM --

The Leon County Sheriff's Office has sent their K9 unit, SWAT team, and helicopter to assist with the search.

Authorities are searching for 38-year-old Bradley Bruce. He has been in and out of jail since he was 18-years-old. He is believed to be armed.

More information on Bruce can be found at the link below.

Picture of Bruce is attached.
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A manhunt is currently underway in Gadsden County, according to the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office. Lt. Corter with GCSO, says that they are searching for a suspect that allegedly beat his girlfriend and left her for dead. Authorities are currently searching wooded areas in Gadsden County for him.

We have a reporter on scene and we will be bringing you updates.


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