Brevard Deputy Shooting: Mother of suspect Andria Kerchner ''devastated'' over shooting of Deputy Barbara Pill

9:48 AM, Mar 7, 2012   |    comments
A sheriff's deputy stands next to Andria Kerchner, the suspect in the shooting of Deputy Barbara Pill along I-95.
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Melbourne, Florida (FL Today) -- The mother of the 19-year-old Melbourne woman suspected of being involved in the fatal shooting of Brevard County Sheriff's Deputy Barbara Pill said she is "devastated," by the slaying and believes her daughter likely did not know what was going to happen.

"We knew Deputy Pill. My husband owns an antique shop in Grant ... My heart goes out to her family. I am crushed that this happened," said Pamela Kerchner, who had not been allowed to talk with her daughter Andria Kerchner hours after her arrest.

Both Kerchner and 22-year-old Brandon Bradley, the suspected gunman who investigators say fatally wounded the deputy, are facing multiple charges. They are in custody at Brevard County jail and are being held without bond.

Photo Gallery: Deputy shot and killed in Melbourne

Bradley is charged with first-degree premeditated murder, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, robbery with a deadly weapon and failure to appear warrants for possession of a firearm by a felon, sale of cocaine, carrying a concealed firearm and resisting arrest. Bradley also was arrested on violation of probation warrants for robbery, possession of cocaine, burglary and grand theft.

Kerchner is accused of robbery with a deadly weapon, first-degree felony murder and a warrant for the sale of a controlled substance.

Bradley's long criminal history included a stint in state prison. State records show Bradley, with tattoos depicting the Grim Reaper, tear drops and the words, "Laugh Now Cry Later," was released from Lancaster Correctional Institute in May 2010 with three years of community supervision.

Court records indicate he had a home address in Melbourne. He was sentenced in 2007 to serve three years in state prison on burglary, possession of cocaine, robbery and grand theft charges. He and Kerchner could go before a judge today.

Pamela Kerchner said her daughter struggled emotionally over the years and had minor run-ins with the law, including a misdemeanor criminal mischief charge, but was otherwise a good person. Court records show she had been involuntarily placed under observation at a medical facility at least three times in recent years for emotional troubles. She played soccer, learned piano and was planning to go to Brevard Community College to try to become an occupational therapist working with children, her mother said.

"She's got a big heart, she's very compassionate. But she just had a very rough life. I don't know why she was with (Bradley)...I didn't know him," Kerchner said, adding that her daughter had left the family's home about four weeks ago. She said she heard little about her daughter's recent actions, but said she was associating with someone named "Louie."

"I'm sure she's devastated and never, ever thought something like this would happen. I lost my own son to a homicide three years ago. This is like losing my child all over again." Kerchner's brother, Kenneth Walters, 28, was killed in a home invasion in 2009.

"I'm sure that if she thought something like this would have happened, she would have tried to get away," Kerchner said. "She wouldn't have wanted that to happen. She's not a monster."

J.D. Gallop, Florida Today

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