Plea deal in Brevard deputy murder: Kerchner sentenced to 12 years

By Jerry Hume, Brevard County Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, January 23, 2014, 6:13 PM EST

Andria Kerchner, the accused accomplice in the shooting death of Brevard County Deputy Barbara Pill in 2012, has accepted a plea deal, avoiding both the death penalty and a life sentence.

Kerchner, 21, was sentenced to just 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to accessory after the fact of first-degree murder, felony grand theft and felony burglary.

As part of the agreement, she will have to truthfully testify against her co-defendant, Brandon Bradley, who is scheduled to stand trial in February for first-degree murder. Bradley faces the death penalty if convicted.

Prosecutors said Bradley shot and killed Deputy Pill during a traffic stop in Melbourne on March 6, 2012. Kerchner was a passenger in the vehicle.

Pill had stopped the car after responding to a call about a robbery at a local motel.

"This resolution is the result of intensive investigation by law enforcement by our prosecutors and staff," said State Attorney Phil Archer. "Both Barbara Pill's immediate family and her law enforcement family, led by the investigators on the cases and the sheriff, were consulted and concurred with our decision."

In a statement released Thursday, Archer said the plea agreement "accurately reflects the role Andria Kerchner filled in this senseless tragedy and provides a significant penalty for that role. Legally and strategically, it is the right thing to do."

Before agreeing to a plea deal, Kerchner's attorneys fought successfully last year to get the judge to throw out statements their client made during to detectives after the fatal shooting. Kerchner's attorneys said her rights were violated when officers "steamrolled" her at the beginning of a three-hour interrogation.