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Woman Accused of Murdering Secret Baby Appears In Court

By Shay Arthur
Published On: Jan 30 2013 04:01:46 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 28 2013 05:05:55 PM CST
bradford pic

The 24 year-old woman accused of murdering her 4 day-old baby girl was in court Monday morning.

According to the court calendar a trial date was supposed to be set on Monday, however it was delayed for further proceedings to March 18th and a trial could potentially begin May 14th.

Bradford, who is originally from the San Diego area, hired San Diego attorney Jonathan Jordan this past fall to defend her.

On Monday morning Jordan attempted to challenge the judge assigned to the case, Cara Beatty.

Beatty, however denied the request to switch judges.

Despite the ruling, Jordan said he plans to continue to pursue a switch.

He declined to elaborate as to why.

"This is a bizarre case that requires a lot of experts and takes a lot of time to coordinate," said Jordan.

Bradford was arrested on November 7 at the Julian Youth Academy in Whitmore.

According to detectives, Bradford told them she had the baby on Sept. 19. She said at first she believed the baby was a stillborn but later told detectives the infant lived for four days.

Bradford told detectives after she gave birth to the baby girl she never gave her a name because she did not want to become attached to her. She said after the baby died she kept the body in a utility closet then moved the body to a laundry basket, where it was eventually discovered in a mummified state.

KRCR News Channel 7 spoke with a friend and former colleague of Bradford's shortly after the story broke. She wished to remain anonymous, but said Bradford was a mentor to girls at the Julian Youth Academy in Whitmore. The Julian Youth Academy is a privately funded Christian boarding school.

Bradford's friend said the school is a positive place for young people and believes Bradford's case is not typical of how the school operates.

KRCR News Channel 7 found that Bradford worked for a program called F.A.C.E.S.S, which stands for Fighting Against Child Exploitation and Sexual Slavery. Bradford was seen as a role model to young women in the program and had helped many girls at the school. She was always viewed as "the funny one."

The friend said Bradford often wore baggy clothes, so it was easy for her to hide her pregnancy. The young woman said she does not believe anyone at the school knew of Bradford's pregnancy, even her boyfriend of almost four years, who also worked at the school.

She said Bradford even denied having any premarital relations with her boyfriend. She described Bradford's boyfriend as quiet and said he always appeared respectful.

The anonymous friend said the campus of the Julian Youth Academy is large, with lots of vacant buildings so she could see how it was possible to keep the baby a secret.

The young woman said she was shocked that Bradford hid her baby girl's body. She said she found it difficult to believe Bradford did not feel she could reach out to anyone for help.

The former colleague said during the four days the baby was alive and allegedly hidden on the campus she said Bradford acted strange and she often disappeared, claiming she was checking on a friend.

She also said Bradford's mood changed after she had the baby. She said she seemed nicer and more open with the people at the school.

The young woman said she also remembers Bradford bringing a large fan into the room about a month ago, which she now thinks was being used to help hide the smell of the hidden baby.

She also added Bradford's personal behavior did not change during the months she knew she was pregnant and that she continued to drink every weekend.

Information from court documents indicated the baby's body was found by staff member Kori Alugas in Bradford's laundry basket on Friday, Nov. 4 when she was looking for a blanket. She reported it to another staff member, Tiffany Morgan who then called Shasta County Sheriff deputies on Nov. 6.

The documents also said Bradford told sheriff's detectives she gave birth to the baby under a deck near her dorm room so that no one would hear.

Bradford is charged with murder and child abuse.

If convicted she could face life in prison.