Accomplice Back In Washington County For Murder Trial

swain mugshot

A Prairie Grove woman convicted as an accomplice in the beating death of a local disabled man was transferred from prison back to Washington County this week to testify in another defendant’s murder trial, records show.

Heather Swain, 36, was booked into the Washington County Detention Center on Thursday after being transferred from state prison, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Circuit Court Judge William Storey signed an order earlier this week ordering Swain to be transferred in order to testify in James Patton’s murder trial, court records show.

Patton’s trial is scheduled to begin Tuesday. He is charged with capital murder, kidnapping and engaging in violent group behavior, according to court documents.

Records show more than 30 subpoenas were sent out to witnesses this month to testify in the trial.

Swain was sentenced to life in prison on Jan. 16 for being an accomplice to capital murder and 25 years for being an accomplice to kidnapping. In court, she cried as the circuit court judge sentenced her to life in prison. Immediately after the sentence, her daughter yelled in court, saying the sentence had ruined Swain’s life, and continued yelling in the hallway outside the courtroom.

Swain was found not guilty of a third charge of tampering with evidence. She was transferred to an Arkansas Department of Corrections facility.

Two other suspects in the case have pleaded guilty, avoiding the death penalty. Timothy Swinford, 38, pleaded guilty in December to first-degree murder and kidnapping. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison, with an additional 30-year sentence suspended, according to court records.

On Nov. 5, his brother, Anthony Swinford, 36, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and kidnapping, records show. He was sentenced to 40 years on the murder charge and an additional 40 years on the kidnapping charge, with the sentences to be served consecutively, according to the prosecuting attorney’s office.

Timothy Swinford was also ordered to be moved from state prison to the Washington County Detention Center to testify in Patton’s trial, according to court records.

Anthony Swinford, Timothy Swinford, Swain and Patton were arrested on suspicion of capital murder and kidnapping in December 2012. In January 2013, they pleaded not guilty at their arraignments in the Washington County Detention Center.

The investigation began when the Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 27, 2012, of a male body being discovered in the unpaved driveway of a chicken farm at 17409 Four Corner Road, records show. Responders determined the body was Bradley’s. He was declared dead at the scene, officials said.

According to court papers, Bradley told the suspects several times during the incident, “Please take me home.”

In an interview with authorities, Anthony Swinford said he beat the victim and left him in the driveway. He also implicated Swain, Patton and Timothy Swinford as accomplices, court records show.

Anthony Swinford also rode along with investigators and pointed out the incident locations, according to a preliminary report.

Swain cleaned up the evidence after the suspects dropped Bradley off in a driveway, a report states.

Investigators recovered bloody clothing and the vehicle used in the crime, according to the preliminary report. The suspects had marks on them that suggested they were involved in an altercation, a report states.

The suspected murder came fewer than two weeks after Patton was arrested by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office on suspicion of third-degree domestic battery. He was also arrested and convicted of domestic battery in 2008 and a previous charge of assault on a family member.

All the suspects had a criminal history before Bradley was killed. Swain has previously been arrested in connection with domestic battery, possession of a controlled substance and driving while intoxicated. Anthony Swinford has a criminal history that includes charges of aggravated assault, possession of a controlled substance, domestic battery, breaking and entering, theft, commercial burglary, terroristic threatening and violation of a protection order. Timothy Swinford’s history includes arrests on suspicion of domestic battery, endangering the welfare of a minor and driving while intoxicated.

8 comments

  • John

    I thought that the courts were going to offer her some kind of immunity in exchange for her testimony against the others?

    What happened, did the courts back stab her now?

  • LF

    Seriously? You’re concerned with her immunity? Look at her history. Look at the cruelty of the crime? Did she have mercy on the victim? I think not…let her cry herself to sleep in prison for the rest of her life!

    • John

      No I could care less about Mrs. Swain, I just know that in the infancy of the investigation that she was the only one to cooperate with the police and she helped to quickly solve the murder and pointed her finger truthfully at the ring leader.

      I just don’t know why she got shafted so hard.

      She was literally back stabbed by the courts.

      Maybe she should have taken the plea agreement.

      O well, everyone needs to read this and know that crime doesn’t pay and some craziness one night resulted in a innocent man being killed for no reason.

      This whole situation is just crazy and senseless.

      • Agreed

        I didn’t follow the case, but you’re right. Plea deals must be the key. She was sentenced to life for being an accomplice while those convicted of murder were sentenced to 40 years. Don’t know which is more confounding–why she didn’t take whatever plea might have been offered her when she knew she played a role in the man’s murder, or why they even offered plea deals to the others with so much evidence. Play with fire, you might get burned. None of it was justice for the man who lost his life or the loved ones he left behind, so no pity for the criminals.

  • sparta

    actually Ronnie Bradley died a disgusting death. Heather Swain had every opportunity all day and all night while killing this man to stop her vehicle or use her phone while she was calling everyone else in texting and ask someone to please come. How about selling 911 in laying your phone down so they can search and find you. I have really had enough of people defending Heather Swain. She is guilty as sin and so are the other 3. Anthony Swinford was very proud to have murdered Ronnie Bradley and he drove the police around and he showed them everything that happened and everybody involved. Heather was given every chance you take a plea bargain and she refused because she said she was not going to be found guilty because she was just an innocent woman that drove around for 12 hours well someone was getting beaten to death in her vehicle. You don’t understand the damage that’s been done to the people that love Ronnie. We all know what people will face but none of us could ever imagine the pain that this man went through for 14 hours. Stop defending her Swain idk you think the court system of not doing the right thing because of this particular subject you would be wrong. It is a matter of public record at you all the motions granted and emotions not granted and all of the extra lawyers and extra legal fees that have been paid and have her swing because she did not want to take a plea bargain. She did not like the jury a 12 of her peers for Marvin a community finding her guilty. She didn’t even have to be complicit in the act just spoke a bowl by being there was enough. But she was all of the above and then some. Get your facts straight again tour on the Washington County website and look under services and go to Circuit Court records and type in heathers Wayne with you the whole trial and every record that they have allowed to be taken into consideration. Jump story has been amazing because he didn’t want her to get to overturn this to repeal so we can read everything she wanted. Except the stupid things like I don’t want video of me at the convenience store being broadcasted why. I can’t believe you’re accusing the courts now for this bloody deadly gruesome gang murder. The records before 4th week using the courts because you are wrong and then bent over backwards to guarantee that they either take a plate or the judgment sticks. She did not like being convicted by a jury has he chose for a judge to send its her. It is a pretty much tied when you beat someone to death with your bare hands and you had three phones and you used all of them all day and all night and you did not do any thing that would help this man. His hands are tied when you can make capital murder and I like that because the truth is if you know the person is capable of these horrendous things and you know the person is going to do the horrendous things and you know what a girl want them to have a life outside of prison bars that shouldn’t be breathing at all. Thankful she’s breathing she should be. Facebook she’s breathing we should be no. We are removing the stump from the planet one by one. So when is mothers day they don’t get a chance to live a normal life with society again that’s good because I hope the society they live with will all be gone long before they see daylight again.

  • sparta

    actually Ronnie Bradley died a disgusting death. Heather Swain had every opportunity all day and all night while killing this man to stop her vehicle or use her phone while she was calling everyone else in texting and ask someone to please come. How about calling 911 in laying your phone down so they can search and find you. I have really had enough of people defending Heather Swain. She is guilty as sin and so are the other 3. Anthony Swinford was very proud to have murdered Ronnie Bradley and he drove the police around and he showed them everything that happened and everybody involved. Heather was given every chance to take a plea bargain and she refused because she said she was not going to be found guilty because she was just an innocent woman that drove around for 12 hours while someone was getting beaten to death in her vehicle. You don’t understand the damage that’s been done to the people that love Ronnie. We all know what these people will face but none of us could ever imagine the pain that this man went through for 14 hours. Stop defending heather Swain.if you think the court system is not doing the right thing because of this particular subject you would be wrong. It is a matter of public record you can viewall the motions granted and motions not granted and all of the extra lawyers and extra legal fees that have been paid and have trial because she did not want to take a plea bargain. She did not like the jury of 12 of her peers from our community finding her guilty. She didn’t even have to be complicit in the act just by being there was enough. But she was all of the above and then some. Get your facts straight again. Look on the Washington County website and look under services and go to Circuit Court records and type in heather swain .you can view the whole trial and every record that they have allowed to be taken into consideration. Judge storey has been amazing because he didn’t want her to get to overturn this thru appeal so we can read everything she wanted. Except the stupid things like I don’t want video of me at the convenience store being broadcasted why? I can’t believe you’re accusing the courts now for this bloody deadly gruesome gang murder. The records before accusing the courts because you are wrong and they bent over backwards to guarantee that they either take a plea or the judgment sticks. She did not like being convicted by a jury so she chose for a judge to sentence her. His hands are pretty much tied when you beat someone to death with your bare hands and you had three phones and you used all of them all day and all night and you did not do any thing that would help this man. His hands are tied when you can commit capital murder and I like that because the truth is if you know the person is capable of these horrendous things and you know the person is going to do the horrendous things and you know that you dont want them to have a life outside of prison bars they shouldn’t be breathing at all. Thankful she’s breathing she should be.the world thankful she’s breathing no.We are removing the scum from the planet one by one. So when you hear them whine they don’t get a chance to live a normal life with society again that’s good because I hope the society they live with will all be gone long before they see daylight again.these were all choices and any one if them couldve have changed the outcome.they again chose not too.I wish they would just get death.it would be more humane than they are and alot more than ronnie got.this person ruined her own kids life.partying with them since before teen years.sick .she acts likeca victim but ronnie was the victim.all four of you grow a set and take yourselves out like you did my kindvfentle sweet disabled defenseless stepfather.

  • a

    My heart goes out to you, Mr. Bradley and the Bradley family. We lost our dad not long ago. My sister was defenseless against the Swinfords. We did not know them very well. Nor did we know Mr.Bradley. I know she would have done anything to help him if it were in her power to do so. I am so sorry for your loss, but my sister was not capable of doing this. Look again at the evidence, the statements,etc. She was clearly at the wrong place at the wrong time as well as James.In court Alan says, I would have taken my own brothers life if he would have stopped me.What does that tell you? She’s 5’3 115 lbs. It is easy to get mad and blame others.My sister was a victim as well. She didn’t take a plea bargain because shes not capable of this.I am so sorry for your loss. I feel as if I lost my dad and my sister who is also my best friend. Sincerely God Bless you and your family.

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