Man changes mind, pleads guilty in Washington County killing

Posted: April 1, 2014 at 9:19 a.m.
Updated: April 1, 2014 at 11:40 a.m.

James Patton, the last of four people accused in the west Washington County beating death of Ronnie Lee Bradley, changed his mind and pleaded guilty as a jury was being selected Tuesday.

Patton, 35, was charged with being an accomplice to capital murder and kidnapping, although prosecutors waived the death penalty. Patton pleaded guilty to being an accomplice to first-degree murder and kidnapping. He was sentenced to 30 years on each charge. The sentences will run consecutively.

Bradley, 48, was severely beaten and strangled. His body was found dumped Dec. 27, 2012, in a driveway in rural southwest Washington County.