The tractor-trailer driver busted for smuggling immigrants – including 10 who died amid the sweltering conditions – was “distraught” after making the gruesome discovery, according to his fiancée.
Darnisha Rose said her hubby-to-be James Matthew Bradley Jr. was stunned to find at least 90 people crammed into the back of his pitch-black 18-wheeler when he stopped at a San Antonio Walmart to use the bathroom.
“He said he saw the people in there, laying everywhere,” Rose said from her home in Louisville, Kentucky. “He said he didn’t know what to do, which way to go. He was crying, distraught. He was scared. You could tell it in his voice.”
In a phone call Sunday after he was taken into custody, Bradley told Rose he came back from the bathroom and saw the trailer rocking back and forth. That’s when he opened the door and found bodies “just lying on the floor like meat,” according to a criminal complaint.
Bradley, 60, has a lengthy criminal record that dates back to the 1990s and spans multiple states.
He pleaded guilty in 1997 to felony domestic violence and received two years’ probation, according to Rich Orman, chief deputy district attorney for the 18th Judicial District in Denver, Colorado.
A year later, Bradley was arrested in Ohio for violating his probation while also wanted by a Texas agency for an unknown charge. He violated probation again in 1999 but wasn’t arrested until 2003.
He was sentenced to three years in a halfway house but again violated terms of that sentence. He was finally sentenced in 2005 to one year in a Colorado prison and released in 2007.
Bradley, of Clearwater, Florida, remained on parole until 2009.
He now could face the death penalty on federal charges of illegally transporting immigrants for financial gain, resulting in death.
Bradley claimed he tried to help the passengers – who told authorities they banged on the walls of the 100-degree trailer – but authorities said he didn’t bother calling 911.
With Post Wires