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

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ABLES, BRANDY L  9621 DAYTON PIKE SODDY DAISY, 37379  Age at Arrest: 39 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County FAILURE TO APPEAR --- ALLMON, MELISSA LYNNE  1608 NORTH CHESTER ROAD HIXSON, 37343  Age at Arrest: 26 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County VIOLATION OF PROBATION ... (click for more)

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Approves Nomination Of Rex Tillerson To Be Secretary Of State With Corker Backing

Senator Bob Corker on Monday joined a majority of committee members in  voting to favorably report the nomination of Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State to the full Senate for consideration.   “I personally have no doubt that Rex Tillerson is well - qualified,” said Senator Corker. “He's managed the world's eighth largest company by revenue with over 75,000 ... (click for more)

Proud Of Chattanooga And The Women's March - And Response (2)

I was very happy to participate in the Women’s March on Chattanooga yesterday afternoon. The diversity and the sheer numbers of women, men and children were incredible. One estimate was at least 3,000. Standing together with all of these like-minded souls was overwhelming and humbling.  I have rarely been so happy and so proud of my town.  One question is, why is ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Puzzling Women

After Rhonda Thurman left the “Enlightment” meeting of the Hamilton Country School Board Saturday afternoon, she must have been catching up on the news when she posted this message on her Facebook page: “I am really trying to understand. I am a woman and I cannot think of one "RIGHT" I do not have. Can someone enlighten me?” Not one person enlightened Rhonda because nobody could ... (click for more)

Big McClendon Curtis Leads Central Past Hixson

Central coach Rick Rogers knew this would be a long season for his Purple Pounder basketball team after his top seven players graduated last year. He’s exactly right, but things are headed in the right direction for Rogers as his team improved to 5-10 overall and 3-6 in District 6-AA with a heart-stopping one-point win at Hixson Monday night. That’s two wins in a row and the ... (click for more)

Father Ryan Rallies To Beat Soddy Daisy

The Soddy Daisy Trojans may have been embarrassed over a lopsided whipping they took at the hands of the Bradley Bears Thursday night in Cleveland, but they came out with fire in their eyes Friday night in a dual meet with Father Ryan. The host Trojans had a seemingly-comfortable 32-22 lead with three matches remaining, but the Purple Irish won all three -- including two with ... (click for more)