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After guilty verdicts, jurors answer sentencing questions

Jurors in the Thorpe Thomas Bradley murder trial considered three aggravating factors to assist in sentencing after deciding on a guilty verdict for a murder charge and an assault charge Wednesday afternoon.

Bradley, 29, of rural Menahga, was on trial for causing the death of his girlfriend's father, Thomas Hensel, also of rural Menahga, after the two exchanged punches at the Mary Brown Bridge near Menahga during a day of heavy drinking. The incident happened Sept. 16, 2006, and Hensel died on Sept. 18, 2006, at a Fargo hospital.

The jury was asked about three aggravating factors: Was Thomas Hensel particularly vulnerable due to intoxication at the time of the assault? Should Bradley have known Thomas Hensel was particularly vulnerable due to intoxication at the time of the assault? Was a minor child present at the time of the assault?

Jurors returned the verdicts Wednesday evening and answered "no" to the first two questions. Jurors answered "yes" to the third question about a minor child being present at the assault.

During the trial, the prosecution alleged Bradley hit Hensel hard enough to eventually cause his death. The defense attributed the death at least in part to Hensel falling down.

Hensel was left in a vehicle overnight, but family members said they left him because they thought he had passed out from drinking, and would be OK the next day.

Bradley has been in jail since awaiting trial on the charges of second-degree unintentional murder while committing third-degree assault.

A sentencing hearing was tentatively scheduled for 10 a.m. on June 10. Bradley will be committed to prison in St. Cloud until sentencing.