Detective to accused killer: 'It's never too late'

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The jury in the murder trial for James Bradley heard more about the moment Bradley claims he last saw Shannon Rippy Van Newkirk, the woman he is accused of killing.

Court went into recess Monday afternoon with Wilmington Police Lieutenant Kelvin Hargrove on the stand. Hargrove rode out to Greenfield Lake with Bradley after the accused killer told police Van Newkirk jumped out of his car in that area April 5, 2014, the night she was last seen alive.

"It's never too late," Hargrove told the accused killer, suggesting Bradley can still fill detectives in on what he knows about the night Shannon went missing.

Monday in court, jurors heard recorded conversations between Bradley and Hargrove on their way to Greenfield Lake. The ride to Greenfield Lake comes after Bradley changed his story about his whereabouts the Saturday night Van Newkirk went missing.

Bradley sat emotionless, jotting down notes as he watched the video playback of an interview with detectives.

The jury saw a very emotional Bradley in the video, opposite of how he had acted in the first few interviews with detectives. He cried several times and slammed his fists on the table in frustration.

He kept telling detectives Steve Mott was on the phone as he and Van Newkirk drove around Greenfield Lake. Bradley insinuates Mott picked her up after she jumped out.

Detectives, however, told Bradley that phone records showed Mott was not on the phone. Detectives went on to explain phone records show Bradley called Van Newkirk 17 times, April 1-5, but the calls stopped as soon as she went missing.

"She jumps out of your truck on Saturday night on a dark park around the bend and you don't try to call her back?" asked Detective Carlos Lamberty. "I'm calling bullsh*t on that James I'm calling bullsh*t, if you were a true friend and you cared about her like you said you did then you would have attempted to find her or attempted to call her back."

Bradley claims he was the last person to see Van Newkirk alive.

When asked why he wasn't being forthcoming with information from the start, Bradley explained he did not want to complicate what he felt was already a bad situation he was being put into.

"I've studied enough law to know that I am not going to help you stick my neck in a noose when it should not be there, when someone else's neck should be there that's not mine," Bradley said.

Bradley had originally told police he did not pick Van Newkirk up Saturday night and wasn't anywhere near downtown Wilmington, for that matter.

WECT's Connor DelPrete will be in the courtroom to cover the James Bradley trial. You can follow him on Twitter for live updates throughout the trial.

Here's a look at what happened in court Monday:

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