Mutiny on the Bounty

Jury finds another bounty hunter guilty in 1997 double-murder case

Why, Clayton wanted to know, had Brackney and his cohorts covered their truck's license-plate number with cardboard before the raid? Brackney responded that he'd been told that residents of the house might be associated with the Aryan Brotherhood -- a white-supremacist gang -- and he feared possible retribution. If that was the case, Clayton questioned, why would Brackney have expected Alcantar, a Hispanic, to be at the house? Brackney didn't have an answer.

Even Brackney's security experience worked against him. Brackney testified that he'd been on about 250 "pickups and apprehensions," including 30 to 40 bounty-hunting missions, in more than 17 years of law enforcement and security work. With such credentials, Clayton wondered, why would Brackney have been naive enough to have accepted Sanders' information without asking to look at Alcantar's paperwork or questioning the logistics of the mission?

Clayton also portrayed Brackney as a desperate man who was $36,000 in debt and going through a divorce at the time of the incident.

Prosecutor William Clayton convinced the jury that David Brackney knew the raid was a planned robbery.
Paolo Vescia
Prosecutor William Clayton convinced the jury that David Brackney knew the raid was a planned robbery.

Spring Wright's mother, Melody Mueller, sat through the trial. She believed Brackney was guilty, because "with his experience, he had to have known what was going on."

"I think [Brackney] really thought that he was going to get away with it, but his expression changed when they started reading the verdict," she said.

Brackney will be sentenced on March 27. His 22-year-old son, Matthew, also participated in the mission and awaits trial on first-degree murder.

Contact Gilbert Garcia at his online address: gilbert.garcia@newtimes.com

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