Man who killed Fayetteville child faces death penalty in 2 more murders

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James Opelton Bradley (image courtesy New Hanover County Sheriff's Office) (image courtesy New Hanover County Sheriff's Office)

A man convicted in the murder of his 8-year-old stepdaughter in Fayetteville now faces the possibility of the death penalty in the murders of two women in the Wilmington area.

The Star News reports James Opelton Bradley, 54, is a former Army sergeant who spent 23 years in prison for the 1988 slaying of his stepdaughter, Ivy Gipson, in Fayetteville.

He was paroled in 2013.

New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David said Monday he will seek the death sentence if Bradley is convicted of killing Elisha Tucker.

Tucker's body was found in 2014 while authorities were searching for a missing co-worker of Bradley, Shannon Rippy Van Newkirk.

Newkirk has been missing since 2014. She was a co-worker of Bradley at a local landscaping company.

Bradley faces first-degree murder charges in the deaths of both women.

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