CLEVELAND - The FOX 8 I TEAM has found a Cleveland homicide detective punished for not following up on a case after a murder suspect walked the streets for two years.
An internal investigation led to a 10-day suspension for detective Rhonda Gray. Since the investigation began, the suspected killer has been caught. But records show he should have been picked up long before it ever happened.
Back in 2015, Tina Martin was shot and killed on the border of Cleveland and Garfield Heights. In the months after that, her family grew frustrated believing not enough was being done to solve the case.
Finally, the victim’s brother went to police headquarters. Homicide supervisors looked into it. They found a “lack of investigation.” It resulted in finding “a potential homicide suspect had been free to roam the community for the past two years.”
The I TEAM requested the full file for the internal investigation. It shows a crime lab sent an email within 3 months of the murder revealing DNA had identified a potential suspect. However, that lead was not followed up until after the family of the victim starting asking to know what was being done on the case.
Detective Gray wrote to a supervisor, she “did not recall receiving the information” about the suspect. She added, “..if I had I would have immediately sought out the person.”
Now, Melvin Bradley has been indicted for the homicide. His record shows he’s a career criminal.
The victim’s brother spoke about the detective saying,
"I would tell her if she can't do her job than step down let somebody who cares do the job," Mike Martin said. “I understand you're busy. There's a million deaths going on in this city, but at the same token, you can't brush one off for whatever reason."
Gray told FOX 8 she could not comment for this story since she did not have authorization from the Police Department.
Bradley is sitting in jail waiting for trial, and that could happen next month.