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MOONDA SLAYING Bond stays at $50K for 'person of interest'



Published: Fri, June 17, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The man is accused of selling cocaine the day the doctor was killed.

BEAVER, Pa. (AP) -- A judge declined to reduce the bond for a man arrested during an investigation into a Hermitage doctor's murder because authorities filed more charges against him.

Damian Bradford, 23, has been jailed since he was arrested last month on allegations of having illegal steroids. Police said they found the drugs while searching Bradford's apartment in Center Township, Beaver County, for evidence in the May 13 slaying of Dr. Gulam Moonda, a Hermitage urologist.

Bradford was being held on $50,000 bond on a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. Authorities also got a detainer to keep him in jail even if he made bail because he allegedly violated his probation for drug possession.

Now, state police have filed drug charges against Bradford.

His attorney, James Ecker, had asked a judge to reduce Bradford's bond, arguing it was excessive and was steep only because he has been named as a "person of interest" by Ohio authorities in the doctor's shooting.

No one has been charged in Moonda's slaying. He was fatally shot on the Ohio Turnpike, near Cleveland.

Moonda's wife -- who is suspected of having an affair with Bradford -- told police her mother and the doctor had stopped their Jaguar to change drivers. Another vehicle pulled behind Moonda's car, and a man got out and demanded money. After Moonda gave up his wallet, the gunman shot the doctor in the head and fled.

More charges

On Thursday, Beaver County Judge Richard Mancini refused to reduce Bradford's bail or lift the retainer because Pennsylvania State Police filed more charges against him.

State police said Bradford sold cocaine on May 13, the day the doctor was shot, and the following day. Authorities said they tracked down buyers with Bradford's cell phone, which was seized during a search of his apartment.

An informant told state police that Bradford sold $150 in cocaine each day.

Ecker bristled outside the courtroom after hearing about the newly filed charges.

"It's not the American way. It really isn't the American way," Ecker said. "If you have charges, you should give them to us ahead of time. They didn't just come up today. They didn't come out of the air today. ... This isn't the way it should be done."

Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania State Police on Wednesday again searched the Moondas' palatial home in Hermitage and seized a computer and other equipment. Authorities were looking for text messages between Bradford and the doctor's widow, according to a search warrant.

Donna Moonda, 46, and Bradford had a relationship, and she planned to divorce her husband in hopes of obtaining a $3 million to $4 million settlement, police said in search warrant affidavits.

Attorneys for Bradford and Donna Moonda have said their clients weren't involved in the doctor's death.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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