- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

PHOENIX (AP) - A Tempe man is on trial this week on charges of murder and aggravated assault in the 2010 shooting death of his girlfriend.

Wade Bradford also is charged in the 2006 death of a previous girlfriend whose body was found in 2011.

The Arizona Republic reported (https://bit.ly/1j7MOUX ) the cases will be tried separately. Also, jurors hearing testimony this week will not be informed of the other charges after a judge found it could prejudice the panel, given the two killings are not connected.

Bradford, who operated massage parlors, met Natalie Allan when she began working in one of his businesses, and the pair soon began dating.

Allan, 27, also began seeing another man in 2009 whom she met as one of her massage clients, the newspaper reported.

In May 2010, according to police, Allan went to Bradford’s home along with her new boyfriend to collect her belongings. Authorities say Bradford shot her in the head in his garage in a brutal act of murder and threatened the boyfriend, Kevin Myles, at gunpoint.

Bradford says the shooting was self-defense after Myles charged at him, causing the gun to accidentally discharge.

He went on trial Tuesday in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Separately, Bradford is charged with murder in the death of a previous girlfriend who disappeared in 2006. The body of Eleanor Su, 39, wasn’t discovered until 2011 after Bradford was jailed in the Allan shooting. Authorities say Su’s decomposing body was found in an abandoned storage unit that had been rented to Bradford.

When Su disappeared, Bradford told authorities she left him. He now faces first-degree murder and kidnapping charges in that case. A trial date has not yet been set.

During trial this week, prosecutor Kristin Larish described Allan as a “free spirit” who was trying to move away from the bad things in her life. She said Bradford was the “puppet master” who kept Allan under his thumb.

Bradford has described Allan as an “adult entertainer.” Her mother told authorities that Allan worked in prostitution and exotic dancing.

Myles told jurors he wanted to help Allan change her life. “She was very spiritual and trying to understand the universe,” he said.

But Allan spent time going back and forth between the two men, leading to confrontations as each man claimed to have been afraid of the other.

According to prosecutors, Allan had finally settled on being with Myles in May 2010, and the pair went to Bradford’s Tempe condo to collect her belongings. As they were inside Bradford’s garage, Myles said Bradford arrived, suddenly pulled out a gun and shot Allan in the back of the head.

Myles said he tried to flee but tripped and fell outside Bradford’s home and saw Bradford pointing a gun at him.

“Don’t move,” Myles said Bradford told him before he lowered his gun and walked away.

Bradford’s lawyer, Jamie Jackson, told jurors Myles charged at Bradford “out of nowhere,” and the gun accidentally fired. Jackson said Bradford left the scene, unaware that he had shot and killed the woman until he was arrested a few days later.

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Information from: The Arizona Republic, https://www.azcentral.com

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