Bradley, 24, Charged In Death Of Boy, 3; Child Had Numerous Injuries After Left With Boyfriend; Mother Was In Workhouse

Saturday, August 30, 2014
Justin Dale Bradley
Justin Dale Bradley

Justin Dale Bradley has been charged with criminal homicide in the death of a three-year-old child, who was rushed to the hospital on Wednesday and later died. Police said Dakota James Arndt had numerous injuries over his body.

Authorities said Bradley, 24, is the boyfriend of the child's mother, Brianna Kwekel, who was in the Workhouse at the time. Ms. Kwekel was serving 48 hours of a 96-hour DUI sentence when her child died.

The mother earlier took out an order of protection against Bradley, and he was arrested for violating the order.

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to 10710 Jenkins Circle, Soddy Daisy, on Wednesday at 8:34 p.m.on a report of a boy having drowned in the bathtub.  Deputies arrived on the scene and immediately took over CPR until Hamilton County Emergency Medical Services arrived, who then took over the life-saving efforts.

It was the boy's uncle, Clifford K. Smith, who was trying the CPR. Bradley was also at the residence.

The child was transported to Children’s Hospital where he was placed in intensive care.  Detectives were notified on Saturday that the child had been pronounced brain dead.

Medical personnel at Children's Hospital "noted the way the child was presenting was not consistent with a drowning."

According to the police report, Dr. Darwin Koller said the child had bruising on his forehead, chest, back, buttocks and groin. Further tests revealed a dislocated shoulder, bi-lateral retinal hemorrhaging and severe brain swelling.

Clifford Smith said Bradley and the child had returned home from the Cleveland, Tn., area at approximately 6 p.m. He said the boy was quiet, but appeared normal. He ate some dinner and was put down for a nap.

Clifford Smith said he then left for Walmart in Soddy Daisy at about 7 p.m. He said when he returned at 8:30 p.m. he heard Bradley yelling at the child to "wake up."

He said Bradley then came out of a back room with Dakota's naked lifeless body." Clifford Smith then called 911.

The child was declared brain dead after several tests could not detect any brain activity.

Bradley gave an interview to detectives at the Sheriff's Office West Annex. He said after Clifford Smith left, he woke the child from his nap because he wanted him to take a bath. He started the water in the tub, but he did not adjust the valves to fill the tub with water.

Bradley said the boy did not want to take a bath. Bradley said he then grabbed the child by the shoulders, picked him up and threw him forcefully into the tub, which was empty.

He said the boy made no noises, but just lay there.

Bradley then went outside to tend to several dogs that were barking.

When he returned about five minutes later, he said the child was lying motionless in the tub.

Detectives with the Criminal Investigation Division along with Child Protective Services are investigating the circumstances surrounding the child’s death.

Brianna Kwekel
Brianna Kwekel

McCormick Says Tax Increase Is Last Resort For Transportation Infrastructure

House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick released the following statement to clarify previous remarks regarding transportation infrastructure funding: "I would like to take the opportunity to clarify my comments made to the Hamilton County Pachyderm Club yesterday regarding Tennessee’s transportation infrastructure. In no way am I advocating for our state to take on debt to fund ... (click for more)

Medical Examiner Changes Opinion In Case In Which Teen Lost Baby After Beating By Boyfriend

Hamilton County Medical Examiner Dr. James Metcalfe testified Tuesday that he had changed his findings in the death of a teen's foetus after she said she was beaten by her boyfriend. Dr. Metcalfe first listed the death of "Promise Jones" as a homicide due to blunt force injury.  He said he later determined that it could have been as the result of another cause - placental ... (click for more)

Why Chattanooga Should Stop Granting Apartment Complex PILOTs - And Response

A new report indicates why Chattanooga and Hamilton County officials do not need to extend PILOTs to apartment complex developers. Demand is high, therefore developers will continue to build to meet the demand without PILOTs. What is truly needed in the Chattanooga metroplex is low-income affordable housing. “Homeownership Drops to Lowest Level in Decades” ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Gun Control? Accuracy!

When President Barack Obama responded to the tragic killing of nine people who were worshiping at their beloved Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., last month, he immediately blamed the gun, saying, “We don't have all the facts, but we do know that once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hand on ... (click for more)

Dalton Edges Stuart Heights To Conclude Unbeaten Regular Season

The Dalton Dolphins had several key goals when the 2015 Chattanooga Area Swim League season began on the first day of June and they can put a big check mark by the first one, which was to go undefeated in the ever-competitive Blue division. They accomplished that goal before dark on Monday as they defeated a much-improved Stuart Heights squad by a 404-386 final that may have ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Hosts Nashville Friday In NPSL Playoffs

Chattanooga will host this weekend's National Premier Soccer League Southeast Conference playoffs. There are two semifinal matches on Friday with the two winners meeting in the Championship match the following night. “We’re very proud of the team for winning home field advantage,” said board member Krue Brock. “Now that every game is a must-win situation, it will be a big help ... (click for more)