By KEVIN NEVERS
A second man has been charged with murder in connection with the shooting of
Lenny Allan Bradley, a Brummitt Elementary School custodian whose body was
found Oct. 29 in a cornfield just inside Porter County.
According to a statement released Tuesday by the LaPorte County Sheriff’s
Police, Justin Ludwig, 19, has been charged with felony murder and criminal
confinement. James A. Smith, 24—who police say shared a trailer with Ludwig
in the same mobile home park in which Bradley lived—was charged with felony
murder Oct. 31, the day after an autopsy determined the body to be Bradley’s
and the same day Ludwig joined the U.S. Navy and began boot camp at Great
Lakes Naval Base.
Bradley was last seen alive Sept. 29 in Michigan City and was believed to be
on his way to the Blue Chip Casino. Porter County Coroner Roger Kleist has
determined that Bradley—who police say lived close to Smith and Ludwig—died
of a single gunshot wound to the head.
The break in the case came, police say, when Smith was arrested in Monroe,
Mich., in possession of Bradley’s yellow 2001 Ford Mustang. He was
extradited to LaPorte County on a warrant charging him with theft, and
police say that investigators were able to develop information which led
them to Bradley’s body.
Investigators then developed further information which led them to suspect
Ludwig’s involvement in the homicide, police said, and based on two
interviews with him at Great Lakes, conducted in conjunction with
investigators from the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, and other
evidence two warrants were issued for Ludwig’s arrest.
Ludwig was transported from the Lake County, Ill., Jail, where he had been
detained after his discharge from the U.S. Navy, to the LaPorte County Jail.
He is scheduled for arraignment Friday.
LaPorte County Sheriff James Arnold “praised the diligent and hard work of
the detectives assigned to the case and also commended the U.S. Naval
investigators for their assistance.”