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Published: Wednesday, 6/20/2007

Turnpike murder-for-hire: Taped phone conversations show relationship


AKRON -- The lover of a woman accused of hiring him to kill her wealthy husband along the Ohio Turnpike two years ago told her after the killing that he loved her and needed money, according to tapes of phone conversations played at her trial today.

"You're not any help," Damian Bradford, 25, of Monaca, Pa., said in one call to Donna Moonda in which he complained about the need to get a job. The call ended with Bradford telling Moonda, "Love you."

Bradford has admitted to shooting Dr. Gulam Moonda, 69, on May 13, 2005, along the turnpike south of Cleveland. He is expected to be the key prosecution witness in the trial in U.S. District Court against Donna Moonda, 48, of Hermitage, Pa., who faces the death penalty if convicted of hiring Bradford to kill her husband for a share of his multimillion dollar estate. The two met in drug rehab.

In a June 30, 2005, call from a jail in Lawrence County, Pa., where he was locked up on a parole violation, Bradford asked Moonda to send him a money order. In a Nov. 23, 2005, call, after his release, Bradford complained in a call to Moonda's cell phone recorded by authorities that he had no money and needed help.

The defense contends that Bradford acted alone and is a liar with no credibility.

Read more in later edtions of The Blade and toledoblade.com

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