WILKES-BARRE — Seven years into his three-to-six-decade state prison sentence for killing a police drug informant, Joshua Bradshaw is seeking relief.
Luzerne County Judge Fred Pierantoni III on Thursday scheduled a hearing for July 22 on Bradshaw’s post-conviction relief petition filed earlier this week.
Bradshaw, 24, an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Coal Township, Northumberland County, has been unsuccessful in previous appeals since he was sentenced by former county Judge Mark Ciavarella on Sept. 25, 2006, to 30 to 60 years in prison. Bradshaw pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, robbery and theft before he was sentenced.
In his latest challenge, Bradshaw states he was induced into pleading guilty and believed he would receive a sentence of 20 to 40 years in prison. He also states new evidence has surfaced that would have changed the outcome of the case.
Bradshaw did not list the alleged new evidence in his petition.
Wilkes-Barre police and county detectives said Bradshaw, known as Smoke, fatally stabbed Kevin D’Souza more than 20 times in a secluded area of Stevens road near Falzone’s Towing and the Sherman Hills apartment complex in Wilkes-Barre on Jan. 10, 2006.
D’Souza was working as a confidential informant for the Luzerne County Drug Task Force and was buying crack from Bradshaw, then 17, at a prearranged location at Spring Street and state Route 309.
Agents lost sight of the two when they walked one-half mile to Stevens Road but later saw Bradshaw calmly walk away from the area before finding a bloody D’Souza.
D’Souza died at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.