Associated Press Writer
MIAMI (AP) — A man who had been released from prison early for good behavior was convicted Tuesday of trying to kill a young mother and leaving her 5-year-old daughter to be eaten alive by alligators in the Everglades.
Harrel Franklin Braddy had befriended Shandelle Maycock and her daughter Quatisha. Maycock testified that Braddy went to her home in November 1998 and grew enraged when she asked him to leave.
He choked Maycock until she was unconscious and then forced her and Quatisha into his car, the woman testified. At one point, Maycock gained consciousness, grabbed the child and jumped out of the moving vehicle.
Braddy stopped, choked the woman again and put her in the trunk, she testified. Maycock never saw her daughter again. Prosecutors said Braddy then drove to a section of Interstate 75 in the Everglades known as Alligator Alley and dropped Quatisha in the water beside the road.
She was alive when alligators bit her on the head and stomach, a medical examiner said.
Authorities found the girl's body two days later, her left arm missing and her skull crushed, prosecutors said. Maycock woke up bleeding and disoriented in a cane field miles from her Miami-Dade County home.
Braddy had served 13 years of a 30-year prison sentence for attempted murder before being released early for good behavior.
The trial had been delayed for nearly nine years because Braddy has fired several attorneys and represented himself at one point. His attorney, G.P. Della Feram, declined to comment.
A dozen law enforcement officers stood guard, aware that Braddy has escaped from the courthouse before. He fled after trying to strangle a Miami-Dade corrections officer in 1984.
Braddy was convicted of seven counts including first-degree murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, burglary and escape. He faces the death penalty.