Updated Feb 5, 2014 - 6:17 pm
Tempe man convicted of killing ex-girlfriend
PHOENIX -- A Tempe man charged in the 2010 shooting death of his ex-girlfriend was found guilty Wednesday after jurors spent less than a day deliberating.
Wade Bradford's trial on charges of killing Natalie Allan began in mid-January, and jurors got the case Wednesday morning. The panel found him guilty of first-degree murder and aggravated assault after about four hours of discussions.
Bradford also is charged in the 2006 death of a previous girlfriend whose body was found in 2011.
The two cases are being tried separately. Jurors in the 2010 case were not made aware of the other charges after a judge found it could prejudice the panel, given that the two killings are not connected.
A hearing is set for March 7, when prosecutors say they will ask the judge to delay sentencing until after Bradford's second trial, set for Oct. 15.
Bradford, who operated massage parlors, met Allan when she began working in one of his businesses, and the pair soon began dating, The Arizona Republic reported.
Allan, 27, also began dating one of her massage clients, Kevin Myles, in 2009.
According to prosecutors, Allan had finally separated from Bradford when she and Myles went to Bradford's Tempe condo in May 2010 to collect her belongings. As they were inside Bradford's garage, Myles said Bradford arrived, suddenly pulled out a gun and shot Allan in the back of the head, then threatened him at gunpoint.
Defense lawyer Jamie Jackson told jurors Myles charged at Bradford "out of nowhere," and the gun accidentally fired. Jackson said Bradford left the scene, unaware that he had shot and killed the woman until he was arrested a few days later.
During his trial, prosecutor Kristin Larish described Allan as a "free spirit" who was trying to move away from the bad things in her life. She said Bradford was the "puppet master" who kept Allan under his thumb.
Allan's mother told authorities that her daughter worked in prostitution and exotic dancing.
Myles explained to jurors during the trial that he wanted to help Allan change her life.
Separately, Bradford is charged with murder in the death of Eleanor Su, 39, who disappeared in 2006. Her body wasn't discovered until 2011, after Bradford was jailed in the Allan shooting. Authorities say Su's body was found in an abandoned storage unit that had been rented to Bradford.
When Su disappeared, Bradford told authorities she had left him. He denies involvement in her killing but faces first-degree murder and kidnapping charges in that case.