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Trial of Hephzibah man accused of shooting Columbia County wastewater plant employee begins Monday

Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012 4:06 PM
Last updated Monday, Feb. 20, 2012 12:58 AM
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The trial of a Hephzibah man accused of fatally shooting a Columbia County wastewater treatment plant employee is expected to begin Monday.

Thomas Eugene Bradford, 43, is charged with murder in the death of 38-year-old Raymond V. Lee, of Grovetown, at Reed Creek Water Pollution Control Plant in Martinez on April 1.

Authorities say Bradford, a driver for Thomson-based Hudsons Grassing Co. Inc., and Lee argued at the plant. According to a Columbia County Sheriff’s incident report, Bradford, who hauled sludge from wastewater treatment plants to facilities in Jefferson and Lincoln counties, grew upset and threatened to dump the waste on the ground.

A witness told authorities that it looked like Bradford was going to run over Lee, who was standing in front of Bradford’s truck.

Bradford got out of the truck and pointed a handgun at Lee, according to the report. Lee tried to take the gun and the two men struggled. Bradford then pushed Lee and shot him in the chest.

Bradford called 911 and told dispatchers he had left his .380-caliber pistol on the running board of his truck, according to police radio reports. His call was disconnected, but he called back and said he was on his knees in the back parking lot.

Bradford waited at the scene until he was arrested.

In May, Bradford was indicted for murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. He pled not guilty to those charges in June.

Bradford is being held in the Columbia County Detention Center without bond, according to jail records.


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