Full Supreme Court to hear Bradley appeal

No date set for second round of arguments
Delaware Supreme Court will hold a second round of oral arguments in Lewes pediatrician Earl Bradley's appeal, this time before a full panel of five justices. A three-justice panel heard arguments in the case June 13. BY RYAN MAVITY
June 20, 2012

A full panel of the Delaware Supreme Court will hear the appeal of Lewes pediatrician Earl Bradley, who is seeking to overturn his conviction on child rape charges.

No further briefing is scheduled. Attorneys for Bradley and the Attorney General’s Office will present oral arguments to a panel of justices without Justice Randy Holland, who was disqualified.  Chief Justice Myron Steele designated Judge Leo Strine of the Court of Chancery to replace Holland.

No reason was given for Holland’s disqualification, and no date has been set to hear the arguments.

Bradley’s attorneys are seeking to overturn his conviction on 24 counts of rape, assault and sexual exploitation of a child involving 86 patients. On June 13, a three-justice panel consisting of justices Carolyn Berger, Jack Jacobs and Henry duPont Ridgely heard oral arguments from Bradley’s attorney, Robert Goff, and from Deputy Attorney General Paul Wallace.

Goff argued that video evidence showing Bradley sexually assaulting a child – collected from the checkerboard-painted outbuilding at Bradley’s BayBees Pediatrics office –  was obtained through an illegal search.

The video was on a thumb drive found still connected to Bradley’s computer. A Delaware State Police search warrant specified they were to look for medical files related to eight patients. Goff said the warrant did not specify what a medical file was, and that the computer thumb drive with the incriminating video was not labeled or accessible by staff, so it could not be a medical file.

The state has argued that the search was within the bounds of the warrant and that once they found video evidence of child pornography, they obtained a second warrant. Wallace said it was not unreasonable for police to think Bradley would store medical files on his computer.

Bradley, who was not present for the June 13 arguments, is serving 14 life sentences and 164 years in prison at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna.

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