Vet charged with trying to kill wife

Police say Craddock, 2 accomplices kidnapped, beat woman in Homer

Posted: Tuesday, August 22, 2006


  Brandon Craddock rides in a restored U.S. Army jeep in the 2005 Homer Veterans Day parade. Photo by Michael Armstrong, Home

Brandon Craddock rides in a restored U.S. Army jeep in the 2005 Homer Veterans Day parade.

Photo by Michael Armstrong, Home

The Kenai Grand Jury last Friday indicted three Homer people — including a recent Iraq War veteran — on charges related to an alleged kidnapping and beating of a Homer woman on Aug. 6 in Homer.

The grand jury alleged Brandon M. Craddock, 24, restrained his wife against her will and assaulted her, and that two accomplices, Margaret Courtney, 18, and Devon Seward, 21, helped him. Craddock was charged with kidnapping, first-degree attempted murder, two counts of third-degree assault, and second-degree assault. Courtney and Seward were charged with first-degree hindering prosecution, and Courtney was also charged with kidnapping, all felonies.

Craddock had been arrested earlier for fourth-degree domestic violence assault, a misdemeanor, after a Homer Harbor Officer told police he saw a man kicking a woman on the ground at the M float in the harbor about 12:45 a.m. Aug. 6. In a criminal complaint, Homer Police allege that Craddock’s wife said they had been on Skyline Drive earlier and Craddock pulled her hair, hit her repeatedly and threw her to the ground. Police said Craddock had a preliminary alcohol breath test result of .041.

After Craddock’s arrest, his wife filed a petition for and was granted a 20-day domestic violence protective order against Craddock by Homer District Court Judge Margaret Murphy. In her petition, she wrote that Craddock picked her up at the Homer Safeway grocery store on the Sterling Highway with Seward and Courtney in the front seat of the car. Craddock’s wife alleged she was taken to Skyline Drive, thrown around by the hair, punched and beaten, and then taken to the Homer Spit.

“I was beaten some more and told that I was going to die,” she wrote in the petition.

Craddock enlisted in the U.S. Army in the summer of 2002. He served with the 82nd Airborne, 101st Division, 18th Air Assault, in two tours in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. In the 2005 Homer Veterans Day Parade, Craddock rode in uniform in a vintage Army Jeep and was honored for his service by local veterans.

Craddock was involved in an incident in April when a Homer man was alleged to have threatened Craddock at his home. At about 2 a.m. April 22 Homer Police responded to a report of three men fighting in front of Craddock’s home. Craddock, his father, James Craddock, and Robert A. Jones, 25, were alleged to have gotten in a fight. Craddock claimed he confronted Jones over unwelcome attention Jones gave to Craddock’s wife while he was in Iraq. He said Jones and another man, Ryan Walker, came to Craddock’s home and allegedly entered it. Fearing for the safety of his wife and three children, Craddock told police he drew the men outside and got help from his father, who lives next door. Jones alleged Brandon Craddock started the fight. According to court records, charges of assault and burglary were dismissed against Jones and Walker, and both men pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct.

Kidnapping and first-degree attempted murder are unclassified felonies punishable by at least five years but no more than 99 years in prison. Third-degree assault and first-degree hindering prosecution are class C felonies punishable by up to five years in prison. Second-degree assault is a class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

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