Columbia County fatal shooting trial begins

Thomas Eugene Bradford (left) talks to his attorney Victor Hawk while waiting for the start of jury selection in his trial for the shooting death of Raymond V. Lee at the Reed Creek Water Pollution Control Plant on April 1.

The trial of a Hephzibah man accused of shooting a Columbia County wastewater treatment plant employee got under way this morning.

Thomas Eugene Bradford, 43, is accused of fatally shooting 38-year-old Raymond V. Lee, of Grovetown, at a Martinez wastewater treatment plant.

Authorities say Bradford, a driver for Thomson-based Hudsons Grassing Co. Inc., and Lee argued at the Reed Creek Water Pollution Control Plant in Martinez on April 1. Witnesses said that during the argument and physical fight between the men, Bradford brandished a pistol and shot Lee.

Bradford called 911 and waited at the scene until he was arrested.

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