Bradley murder trial: FBI agent provides details on phone records

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The murder trial of James Bradley continued Monday after the jury was given several things to consider over the weekend.

Bradley is accused of the presumed death of Shannon Rippy Van Newkirk, who went missing April 5, 2014, a day before her 54th birthday.

Her body has not been found, but the remains of Elisha Tucker were found in the search for Newkirk. Bradley is also charged with the murder of Tucker.

The prosecution has been using several details surrounding the discovery of Tucker's body as testimony in this trial. The defense argues the evidence presented is irrelevant in this case.

There was a change in the jury pool Monday as one of the jurors had a death in the family and was given permission to leave.

FBI Special Agent Michael Sutton took the stand and is a cell phone expert. He is trained to track cell phones.

Sutton pulled cell phone records from Bradley, Van Newkirk, Steven Mott and Donnie Kornegey. He explained to the jury where each of those people was the night Van Newkirk went missing.

Sutton testified Van Newkirk received a call from Steven Mott, her boss and boyfriend at the time, at approximately 6:45 p.m. At the time, Van Newkirk's cell phone was located in an area near James Bradley's apartment.

According to Sutton, there was no evidence Van Newkirk's phone was around the Greenfield Lake area, which is where Bradley said she jumped out of his truck.

In his report, the FBI agent also found Bradley's phone was off the network for a three-hour time period between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.

When questioned by District Attorney Ben David on what this means, Agent Sutton said the phone was either turned off or in an area that did not service his phone. Sutton added Wilmington is an area that would service Bradley's cell phone, if turned on.

The jury is also heard from Chrystal Sitowski, who testified about Bradley's relationship with Tucker. She met Bradley in June or July of 2013 in front of the probation office when he offered to light her cigarette.

Sitowski said she turned to Bradley whenever she needed something and explained he would lend her money so she could buy pills. She said Tucker was often with Bradley when they would meet up.

Sitowski also said she had seen Bradley with Van Newkirk downtown before.

Sitowski said Bradley pursued a romantic relationship, but she only let it go so far. They went to the property in Pender County together to pick up money and she kissed him.

The defense drilled Sitowski on discrepancies in her interview transcripts and what she had been testifying in court, specifically the number of times she claims to have seen Bradley and Tucker together.

The district attorney claimed the defense was confusing the witness.

The jury is expected to see Bradley's former landlord, Alice Meehan, take the stand during the trial this week. Meehan handed evidence over to law enforcement following Van Newkirk's disappearance.

Connor DelPrete is tweeting live updates from inside the courtroom. Follow him on Twitter (@CDelPreteWECT) throughout the trial.

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

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