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On Monday, Aug. 20, the first-degree murder trial of Craig Bryant, accused of killing Shallotte Realtor Adam Bradshaw more than four years ago, is scheduled to begin in Brunswick County Superior Court.
According to the autopsy report, Bradshaw, 34, who lived with his wife Shannon and their young son in the Brierwood community, died from a gunshot wound to the head from a high-velocity firearm on April 26, 2008, the day before his wife reported him missing.
Bryant’s co-conspirator, Lora Moultrie, pleaded guilty to Bradshaw’s second-degree murder last July.
Moultrie also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.
A third charge, robbery with a dangerous weapon, was dismissed.
Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Ola Lewis accepted Moultrie’s plea agreement with the state, in which Moultrie became a state’s witness, in July 2011.
Also as part of the plea agreement, Moultrie’s charges were consolidated for sentencing. Rather than serve the 958-month, or nearly 80-year maximum sentence, she will be sentenced at a later date to between 179 months and 198 months, or 15- to 16-and-a-half years in prison.
As a state’s witness, Moultrie has agreed to cooperate with investigators and prosecutors to testify against Bryant, who is awaiting trial for first-degree murder, conspiracy and robbery with a dangerous weapon.
Lewis also granted a request by Moultrie’s attorney, Ed Geddings, to transfer Moultrie from the Brunswick County Detention Center for her safety.
Geddings said Moultrie had received numerous threats while in custody. Bryant’s mother was arrested for attempting to sneak a weapon to Bryant, which Geddings feared was intended to hurt Moultrie.
Lewis granted her transfer to the North Carolina Department of Corrections women’s facility in Raleigh.
Moultrie and Bryant had spent most of time since Bradshaw’s murder on house arrest, but an additional grand jury indictment for robbery with a dangerous weapon last April put them both back in custody when their bonds were increased.
While Moultrie has no prior criminal history, Bryant’s criminal history spans more than 13 years.
According to the Tennessee Department of Corrections, Bryant served almost 10 years at the Western Tennessee State Penitentiary near Memphis for aggravated assault and attempted second-degree murder.
In July 1996, Bryant was indicted on attempted first-degree murder but convicted of aggravated assault and attempted second-degree murder.
Bryant was sentenced to 13 years in prison in July 1997 for the two charges to run consecutively, and was given 468 days of pre-trial jail credit, a spokesperson for the department of corrections said. Bryant’s sentence expired in 2006.
Bryant was paroled several times during his sentence, but each time his parole was revoked.
Caroline Curran is a staff writer at The Brunswick Beacon. Reach her at (910) 754-6890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.