Man who killed mom by lighting her on fire found not guilty by reason of insanity

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LUBBOCK, Texas — The man accused of lighting his mother on fire and killing her, George James Bradley, III., 41, of Lubbock, was found not guilty for murder by reason of insanity on Thursday.

Bradley was arrested in May 2011 and has been locked up since that time. The address listed on a police report was in the 1500 block of East Cornell Street.

“[Bradley] poured gasoline on [his mother, Bertha Bradley] and lit her on fire,” a police report said at the time.

“[Bradley] ran to a nearby school and held four teachers at knife point,” the May 9, 2011 police report said. “[Bradley] attempted to sexually assault [a woman]. [A school administrator] attempted to help [the woman] and [Bradley] began to swing the knife at [the administrator]. [Bradley] had put the knife down and when [another man] walked in.”

In early 2012, his defense lawyer, Ted Hogan, filed a motion in court records “suggesting incompetency.”

The court granted a psychological exam of Bradley to see if he was competent to stand trial. In 2015, prosecutors and the defense agreed to have a second psychological examination of Bradley.

In 2016, with a different attorney – Mark Snodgrass – he was examined yet again but for a different issue. Snodgrass asked the court to look at the issue of insanity. An insanity defense is not the same as incompetent to stand trial.

After a court hearing on Thursday, in which he was found not guilty by reason of insanity, Snodgrass said Bradley would be transferred to a state mental hospital in Vernon, Texas. According to Snodgrass, the state hospital can keep him for as long he is a danger or indefinitely.

Snodgrass anticipated other pending charges against Bradley would be dropped.

“He’s just another example of the failure of our mental health system,” Snodgrass said. “They were begging for help before this happened and there was nobody who could help him.”

“Unfortunately, there was no help for him, and his mother is now dead,” Snodgrass said.

“Although this is an extremely tragic case that involves family violence of the worst nature, this is what needed to happen,” said Sunshine Stanek, Criminal District Attorney of Lubbock County.

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