Judge delays decision on whether to reduce man's sentence

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bradley D. Long appeared in Putnam County Judge Matthew Headley's courtroom Thursday morning asking for a modification of his 18-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter in the death of Kelcey Sullivan in 2006.

Long pleaded guilty to strangling Sullivan during an argument and was sentenced in June 2006 to 20 years with a two-year suspension. He has been serving time in the Pendleton Penitentiary.

Long and Sullivan were living together at Long's home on Country Villa Drive, just west of U.S. 231 on U.S. 40 when the death occurred.

According to investigation reports at the time of Sullivan's death, the two had visited an Indianapolis bar, become separated and returned home at different times.

Long was asleep when Sullivan arrived home. The two got in a fight over an alleged affair and Long beat and strangled Sullivan in a moment of rage.

The autopsy later showed that Sullivan suffered a fractured Hyoid bone in his neck, which doctors said, was indicative of strangulation. Further evidence showed the young man had been severely beaten.

Long was initially arrested for possession of marijuana. He did not admit guilt for nearly three months when he pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter.

Long's attorney Daryl Felling asked the judge this week to consider modifying the sentence to 10 years with six years executed and the remainder to be re-directed.


That means Long could be out of jail very soon.

Sullivan's mother Jane Sullivan, of Columbus, directed a statement from the family to the prisoner, breaking down in tears as she described her only son's death.

"When you were strangling Kelcey, you had to see his eyes and see that he desperately wanted to live. You had time to stop. But, you didn't."

"What about Kelcey's death sentence?" she asked Long. "Do you ever think about his right to live? You are free. You may not like where you are living, but you are free to see the seasons change, to see another day," she said.

She later directed a plea to Judge Headley not to modify Long's sentence.

In Long's defense, his sister and brother both spoke about the changes he has undergone since being incarcerated.

His sister Debbie Long, Terre Haute, told the court how Long was remorseful every singe day. She visits her brother weekly along with other members of the family.

Long's older brother Roddy Long also testified on behalf of his brother. A 15-year correctional officer at Putnamville, he too told the Judge his brother was changed and was remorseful.

While he has been incarcerated, Long has completed several programs to help understand how to control his anger and how to communicate better.

"I have learned how to identify my trigger buttons and what to do when I am angry," Long told the judge.

"There is not a day that I don't think about what I did and regret it. I can't change the past, but I want to concentrate on the future," he added.

Long is also taking Ball State University classes to earn an associate's degree in general studies. He is currently employed in the jail as a clerk in the re-entry program. His job is to help prepare prisoners, who have served their time, adjust to leaving the penal system.

Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter cited the case of Catt vs. the State of Indiana as a precedent for not modifying Long's sentence.

He reminded the judge that Long lied to authorities when they were investigating the death for three months.

"He didn't call 911 right away and he watched Kelcey die," said Bookwalter.

Headley took the motion under advisement, saying he would deliver a decision within a week.

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  • murder is murder! come on now, i know his family wants him out , but look at the other side, can he control himself?what if he cant? is it worth the risk?i wouldnt want to be the one who turns a killer back on to society, would you?

    -- Posted by usmalein on Sat, Mar 15, 2008, at 4:11 AM
  • If incarceration ceases to be for punitive reasons, and is simply a time for the murderer to become reformed and then released, then the "cost" of murdering someone becomes so low that it is no longer a deterrent.

    -- Posted by VolunteerFF on Sat, Mar 15, 2008, at 6:01 AM
  • ""I have learned how to identify my trigger buttons and what to do when I am angry," Long told the judge."

    It's too late to have these skills now, the crime has already been committed. It's not like he stole money or property and can pay it back.

    He took a life from loved ones, and yet his life is spared by our judicial system. Now he is asking for less punishment. Wow, what nerve.

    -- Posted by Xgamer on Sat, Mar 15, 2008, at 7:48 AM
  • I have to agree with Molon Labe on the justice comments, I believe Texas would be a state for stronger action against this man.

    The comments about homosexuality seemed to be well stated, but could you possibly substitute "abnormal" with "alternate"? We all can be "abnormal" in one way or another and "alternate" doesn't sound so insulting in this particular blog.

    I still feel that convicted killers, child molesters, and rapists should remain out of society, regardless of their sexuality.

    -- Posted by Xgamer on Mon, Mar 17, 2008, at 5:59 AM
  • I will pray that the judge makes the right decision.What does homosexuality have to do with anything. A life is a life. Brad should be very happy that he didn't get charged with MURDER because he should have. He should be spending LIFE in prison not just 18 years.....9 with good time. He took someone's life. Everyone is responsible for their actions. He should be held accountable for his. Who cares if he has remorse. Kelcey is gone and nothing can bring him back. He should feel truely blessed that he will still have a LIFE when he gets out....and apparently a college degree. Good Luck getting a job with a felony manslather conviction. He is going to say whatever appeases the judge. He should have taken care of his anger issues before he killed someone. It is too late now.

    -- Posted by famofkws on Mon, Mar 17, 2008, at 7:59 PM
  • I think you might want to understand all the cirumstances of this case before you can pass judgement. You weren't in the court room so you DON'T know what the mitigating circumstances were do you? He was waiting for him to come home. He knew that when Kelcey walked through the door there was going to be a fight. Sure, just like any women or man in a domestic relationship they know the anger issues, however do you think they fully understand the reality of that anger? Brad has a very long history of domestic violence. He should have educated himself on anger management before being forced to in prison. I understand your comment about a life but this life is different. Just because he was in a homosexual relationship doesn't justify what happened. Women are killed all the time in domestic abuse cases. Working with battered women and trying to reason with them is not an easy task. They typically go back because of the promise that the other party is GOING TO CHANGE. He is a risk in our society and just because he's taken a couple anger management classes doesn't in any way justify him being released early. He needs to suffer consequences for his actions not get rewarded for being a good prisoner. The family of Kelcey will live with this tragedy for the rest of their lives here on earth. Why don't you step back and think about how you would feel if it was one of your loved ones.

    -- Posted by famofkws on Tue, Mar 18, 2008, at 7:39 PM
  • "I know that I am probably just asking for it by commenting, but..."

    Right you were Molon Labe.

    ""However, I (Molon Labe) am looking at things from a detached and rational point of view.""

    famofkws, we all would feel hurt if it was one of our loved ones. No matter what the judge decides, Mr Long cannot escape "karma", or the "reaping of what we sow" or even "what comes around, goes around". I believe all who blog on here are sorry for the loss of your friend. Peace be with you and your family.

    -- Posted by Xgamer on Tue, Mar 18, 2008, at 9:05 PM
  • Brad Long is a MURDERER!! nothing less to release him now or in 20 years is wrong I was a close friend to Kelcey and he did nothing to deserve the loss of his life. To see the suffering that the Sullivan family goes through EVERY DAY for the rest of their lives, this murderer asking for any time reduction is a huge insult KEEP THIS KILLER IN JAIL!!!!

    -- Posted by scorpio321 on Wed, Mar 19, 2008, at 2:57 PM
  • This man is working at Club Indianapolis, and on 3/16/13 threaten to chock the life from me because I was not moving fast enough for him. Its only a mater of time before he hurts someone else he is already threatening people to do harm to them.

    -- Posted by keads on Tue, Mar 19, 2013, at 7:03 PM
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