Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Man charged in death of girlfriend's 2-year-old

TAMPA — When his girlfriend's toddler died last month, Robert Bradwell told investigators that the child had fallen in the bathtub.

Monday, they disputed his account.

Bradwell, 36, was charged with first-degree murder after a medical examiner found that 2-year-old Makaila Thompson died as a result of "blunt impact." The Sheriff's Office did not reveal the nature of her injuries.

Bradwell, who has been arrested 20 times in Florida, had been entrusted with the care of Makaila and her 4-year-old brother while their mother worked on the night of Sept. 5, a sheriff's spokeswoman said.

Bradwell and the mother, Monique A. Thompson, 24, had lived together for about a year in Apt. B at 14204 N 20th St., a one-story duplex about 50 yards from a district substation of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

About 9:30 p.m., something happened to Makaila, and Bradwell took her to University Community Hospital, where she died. The boyfriend told detectives at the hospital that the child had fallen in the tub. But her injuries suggested foul play, the Sheriff's Office said.

Bradwell's state criminal record lists his occupation as truck driver. He told jail officials Monday that he works for Hedge Hunters, a landscape company. On one arrest record, he said he worked as a cook at Wendy's. Another time, he said he was unemployed.

His adult arrest record began with a June 1990 motor vehicle theft and, until this week, ended with a domestic violence arrest in July 2008. Along the way there were charges of carrying a concealed weapon, resisting arrest, burglary, marijuana possession, domestic violence battery, cocaine possession and larceny.

On Monday, he was booked on a charge of first-degree murder of a child and held without bail.

The shades were drawn Monday night at the apartment where Bradwell and his girlfriend lived. No one answered the door. Upholstered chairs sat out in the rain.

Neighbor Daryl Grant, who lives in Apt. A next door, said he moved in recently and didn't know the couple well but called Bradwell a "real cool dude."

"He goes to work, cooks, cleans, and he sits out here doing what he's got to do," Grant said.

News researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Justin George can be reached at or (813) 226-3368.

Man charged in death of girlfriend's 2-year-old 10/06/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 9, 2008 3:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and estranged wife Carole put Beach Drive condo on the market

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and his estranged wife, Carole, have put their Beach Drive condo on the market for $1.5 million.

    U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and his estranged wife, Carole, have put their Beach Drive condo in Parkshore Plaza on the market for $1.5 million. {Courtesy of Amy Lamb/Native House Photography]
  2. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman faces Baker for first time tonight at the Rev. Louis Murphy Sr.'s church

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The mayor's race has been making headlines for nearly two months as Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker have been making speeches, pressing the flesh at fundraisers and gathering their ground forces for an election battle that has already broken fundraising records.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.
  3. Tampa moves to pause permits for 5G wireless equipment to assess impact of new Florida law


    To business groups, the bill that Gov. Rick Scott signed Friday will clear the way for superfast 5G wireless communications and give Florida an edge in attracting high-tech companies.

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and other local officials have worried that a new state law aimed at facilitating the installation of 5G wireless technology could clutter scenic corridors like Tampa's Riverwalk.
  4. Trump takes another swipe at CNN after resignations over retracted Russia story


    NEW YORK — President Donald Trump used the resignations of three CNN journalists involved in a retracted Russia-related story to resume his attack on the network's credibility Tuesday.

    Anthony Scaramucci, a senior adviser to President-elect Donald Trump, talks to reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. [Associated Press]
  5. Clearwater woman dies after losing control of SUV, flipping in Palm Harbor


    A Clearwater woman died early Tuesday morning when she lost control of her SUV and crashed in Palm Harbor, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.