News & Publications
How does a convicted murderer go free?
May 09, 2014

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)-- No one saw this coming. Just when we thought there were answers, the search for Shannon Rippy continues on.

Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said Thursday that a body found in Pender County Tuesday turned out not to be the body of Rippy.

However, the suspect remains the same. James Bradley is still facing charges of first degree murder and is still the prime suspect in Rippy’s murder. With another body found, he’s now the suspect in another murder. And, murder is a term that Bradley is unfamiliar with.

“Life without parole means life without parole,” said James Payne, a local defense attorney, explaining though that it did not when James Bradley was initially sentenced for the murder of his eight year old daughter.

He was sentenced in 1990, for a 1988 homicide but the law has since changed.

“It would not be possible now for someone to be convicted of first degree murder and then achieve parole,” said Payne, “it’s just not possible because of the status of the law.”

Life without parole now means you would spend your entire natural life behind bars.

Similar incidents have happened here though.

Take the case of Andrew Bernard Adams convicted of multiple rapes in the 1970's, let out on parole, and then convicted of 1st degree murder.