CLEVELAND- The man convicted of killing a Cleveland Heights mother whose body was found in a garbage can has been sentenced to life in prison for her murder.
A Cuyahoga County judge sentenced 36-year-old Yaphet Bradley to life in prison without the chance of parole for the 2018 murder of 31-year-old Miriam Johnson.
Johnson's body was found in a garbage can inside a vacant house in Cleveland's Fairfax neighborhood on March 22, 2018, about a month after she disappeared. Investigators said she was stabbed and shot in the back of her head.
Last month, Bradley pleaded guilty to charges including aggravated murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.
Judge John Russo moved forward with the sentencing after denying a written request by Bradley to withdraw his guilty plea. In addition to the life sentence, Judge Russo also sentenced him to a total of two years for the abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence charges.
Investigators said Bradley was the father of three of Johnson's four children. He had previously been convicted twice of domestic violence charges against her and served two separate prison sentences.
"Bradley killed her last year, but he really took her life years before that," Johnson's mother, Cynthia Johnson, told the judge. "I truly believe Miriam was the victim of domestic violence for 13 years."
Calvin Young, 24, helped Bradley dispose of Johnson's body. He pleaded guilty to charges including burglary, abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence and obstructing justice. Young is scheduled to be sentenced on February 21.
Cynthia Johnson last saw her on February 25, 2018, and she was last heard from when she called off work a day later. Cynthia Johnson reported her missing on March 6.
Prosecutors sought a life sentence without the possibility of parole and said overwhelming evidence tied him to the crime.
"Bradley's DNA is on Ms. Johnson's legs, pants and on the rim of the 64-gallon tote," said Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Blaise Thomas.
Thomas said Bradley killed Johnson in her apartment and then tried to clean up the crime scene with Young before loading Johnson's body into a two-wheeled garbage container and transporting it and a bloody mattress to the vacant house on Chamberlain Avenue.
"She ultimately was disposed of like a piece of trash," Thomas said.
Prosecutors said bank records show money transferred from Johnson's bank account to Bradley's account after her murder.
Bradley did not address the court before his sentencing.