Publisher's Column

Emotions ran the gamut during the trial of Russell Charles Bradshaw, the cold-blooded 22-year-old Edgewater killer who beat, strangled and finally slashed the throat of 21-year-old Lisa Memro of New Smyrna Beach before having sex with her lifeless body the night of Sept. 25, 2006. And more emotions are on the way as the same 12 jurors who pronounced him guilty of captal murder Monday will have a say in his punishment next week: Rot in prison for the rest of his life or spend years on Death Row awaiting a death sentence by way of lethal injection.

In the spectacular events concerning the crime and trial of Edgewater resident Russell Bradshaw, many onlookers may have missed the extreme skill with which Lawyer Gayle Graziano conducted the defense of the defendant, who was in a virtual hopeless “slam dunk” situation of getting convicted of first-degree murder. Maybe now the former circuit judge can work bigger miracles and save his sorry hide from being put on Death Row.

A Volusia County jury returned a guilty verdict of first-degree murder against Edgewater resident Russell Charles Bradshaw after deliberating less than three hours this afternoon in the Sept. 25, 2006, throat-slash slaying of 21-year-old Lisa Memro. The jury will return next Monday to the Volusia County Courthouse in DeLand to hear evidence during the sentencing portion of the trial before determining whether he receives life in prison or death by lethal injection. Bradshaw, 22, showed no emotion when the verdict was read as well as a second guilty verdict to sexual abuse of a dead body.

Circuit Judge James R. Clayton sent the jury into the jury room to begin deliberations at 11:41 a.m. to determine guilt or innocence for 22-year-old Russell Charles Bradshaw, charged with capital murder in the Sept. 25, 2006, throat-slash slaying of 21-year-old Lisa Memro of New Smyrna Beach.

There are some technical issues that are preventing the viwing of stories in the Local News Now section. This may take some time to fix. In the mean time, I will provide news updates on my blog. You can still view other sections from the Home page of I am very sorry for the inconvenience.

Politicians talk up a good game, especially those in law enforcement. And nobody is better at that than State Attorney John Tanner, the Bible-thumping zealot who prayed some 50 times with serial killer Ted Bundy on Death Row. What better time than the present to grab headlines again in the wake of a horrific homicide -- the brutal stabbing-murder last month of Tomoka Corrections officer Donna Fitzgerald at the hands of twice-convicted rapist and inmate Enoch Hall.

Few people world wide seem to understand the basic phenomenon of black markets. When Diane Strickland, a financial specialist at Wachovia bank in New Smyrna Beach was asked for her opinion on black markets, she said it is wrong to have them, but added she did not think they are really bad for the country. Her response is typical of people the world over.

Ironically, some of out citizens engage in mild black market activity without even realizing it.

The Sept. 25, 2006, slaying of 21-year-old New Smyrna Beach resident Lisa Memro -- beaten and stabbed to death, her throat cut deeply from ear to ear and nearly decapitated -- could qualify as the most gruesome murder in the history of Southeast Volusia. But there are yet even more twisted facts that make it that more disturbing. Her attacker bent over her lifeless body into his family tub and drained her blood before he had sex with her corpse in a bed.

Many local citizens, no doubt are unaware that the Founding Fathers gave Americans additional protection from bad laws and bad government through jury nullification. This occurs when one or more members of a jury decide that even though the defendant may have broken a particular law, he is innocent because the law, or application of it, is wrong. In preparation for this blog, I asked well-known New Smyrna Beach criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor William Hathaway where he stood on the issue and he answered that he favors it.

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