Keith Bradley

Charleston County, South Carolina
Date of Crime:  May 2002

Keith Renard Bradley was convicted of murdering Miriam Leeks and sentenced to life in prison.  Leeks, a 37-year-old homeless woman, was found bludgeoned to death in a wooded area off of Willtown Road in Adams Run, SC.  Her body was wrapped in garbage bags and sheets.  Bradley's conviction was due to the testimony of two incentivized witnesses which contradicted the testimony of the witness who reported the murder and who had no known incentive for coming forward.  All the other evidence in the case was exculpatory of Bradley.

The investigation into Leeks murder went cold until 2006 when a man named Boris Lopez told police that years earlier, in May 2002, while living in a North Charleston trailer park, he looked out his window and witnessed a murder that occurred next door.  It is conjectured, though not proven, that the murder Lopez witnessed was that of Leeks.  Police found that Lopez's neighbor at the time was Cynthia Major.  Major implicated Hans Frazier and Keith Bradley as the men who were at her home on the night of the murder.  Major said Bradley came to her home in a burgundy car.  Major was charged as an accessory after the fact of murder.

Partial fingerprints and a palm print were found on a trash bag that had been on Leeks' upper body.  The fingerprints were determined not to have come from Bradley.  The palm print was used to exclude nine other suspects, but police never compared it to Bradley's palm print.  A defense analyst testified that in his opinion the palm print did not come from Bradley.  There were at least three different DNA profiles taken from semen recovered on a vaginal swab of Leeks.  None matched Bradley or Frazier.  DNA profiles were also found on the sheet that covered Leeks.  Bradley was positively excluded from these profiles.

Lopez testified that he saw two black males beat a woman, drag her body to a blue Volvo, put her inside the Volvo, then drive away.  Major owned a blue Volvo.  Lopez said he never saw another car at Major's home that night.  He also said one of the black males was tall and slim while the other was a little shorter with a more muscular body.  Both Bradley and Frazier were 5'11" tall.  Lopez said he did not report the murder earlier for fear of retaliation.  He said his home was burglarized four times while he lived next to Major and acknowledged that one of Major's sons was charged in one of the burglaries.

Major testified that Bradley came into her home on the night of the murder wearing bloody clothes and that he changed his clothes, taking his bloody clothes with him.  She also testified that six of her kids and four of her neighbor's kids were in her home that night.

Frazier testified he committed the murder with Bradley.  He said he and Bradley picked up Leeks after agreeing to give her drugs in exchange for sex.  The threesome went to Major's house where Bradley gave Leeks crack cocaine which she smoked.  Leeks, however, hesitated to do her end of the deal.  Frazier said both he and Bradley hit Leeks.  After Leeks fell to the ground, Bradley got a shovel and beat her on the head with it.  The two men then put Leeks in Bradley's burgundy Toyota, drove to the country, and disposed of her body.  Frazier testified he lied many times during his statements to police.    [8/09]

References:  Case Summary, Post and Courier

Posted in:  Victims of the State, South Carolina Cases