Sep 17, 2023

KC man shot driver after dispute over pickup door handle

Posted Sep 17, 2023 11:00 PM
Bradford-photo Jackson Co.
Bradford-photo Jackson Co.

KANSAS CITY—A judge sentenced a Kansas City man to life in prison plus seven years for the fatal shooting in July 2020 of Lodillar R. Styles, who had driven the defendant to a residence when the 41-year-old Johnathan L. Bradford suddenly shot him in the head, according to Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker.

The judge sentenced Bradford to Life in Prison for his conviction of Murder 2nd Degree and an additional seven years for sentences in four other convictions: Armed Criminal Action, Tampering with a Motor Vehicle, Abandonment of a Corpse and Assault 4th Degree. Bradford also pleaded guilty to two counts of Felon in Possession and  was sentenced to seven years. Those sentences were set to run concurrently with the others.

According to court records, Kansas City police were dispatched to 40th and Tracy on a shooting. They found the victim in the middle of the street. Officers determined the victim had been in a large blue pickup truck with two others, including a witness.

A witness told police that the victim had  picked her up and drove her to his apartment, where Bradford also arrived. The witness noticed Bradford was smoking hash and was acting weird. As they were about to leave, the victim was in the driver’s seat and the witness was in the front passenger seat.

The victim pulled over to let the Bradford out. Bradford attempted to get out but the doors were locked. The victim asked the Bradford not to pull on the door handles; the child lock was on.

The victim instructed Bradford to let the window down and to reach outside the door to open it. The suspect uttered "ok," according to the witness, then shot the victim in the head.

The victim’s vehicle then struck a white van. Other witnesses heard the vehicles’ collision and saw a man pulling the bloody victim from the vehicle. When Bradford was arrested, after a brief foot chase, police recovered a pistol of the same caliber used in the homicide. The suspect told police he had been in the vehicle with the victim, when "all chaos broke out.