Fountain Reacts with Gratitude and Sad Relief: “Justice is Done”.
The defendant was found guilty of second-degree felony murder on November 23 in the Los Angeles Superior Court Criminal Courts Building in downtown Los Angeles, following a three-week trial that began on November 3. Closing arguments took place on November 21, with the jury deliberating for about a day and half before reaching the verdict. Present in the courtroom when the verdict was read were Bradley’s brother, Michael Hill, a resident of Virginia; Fountain Producing Director Simon Levy; and Fountain Co-Artistic Director Deborah Lawlor. The verdict carries a sentence of 16 years to life. Sentencing is scheduled for January 3.
“All of us in the Fountain family are pleased and relieved by the verdict and grateful that the trial phase of this horrific nightmare is over,” wrote Fountain Co-Artistic Director Stephen Sachs in a statement. “We thank Los Angeles District Attorney Mario Haidar and the team of detectives, led by Matthew Gares, who did such an excellent job on this case. Justice is done. But no matter the verdict or severity of the sentence, justice does not wield the power to bring Ben back to us. With that truth, comes the painful reality that justice can never be fully served in our hearts.”
Prior to his death on January 1, 2010, Ben had been with the Fountain Theatre for over seventeen years as a producer, director, and the Director of Audience Development. Ben was in rehearsal for The Ballad of Emmett Till when he was murdered. Prior to that, Ben had directed the Fountain’s critically acclaimed production of August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean (LADCC Awards for Production of the Year and Best Director). He received the 2006 OVATION Award and the 2007 NAACP Award for his direction of the Fountain’s critically acclaimed production of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Other directorial credits at the Fountain includeLady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill (winner of the NAACP Award for Best Actress) and Direct from Death Row: The Scottsboro Boys(winner of Best Ensemble, L.A. Weekly Award, and Best Ensemble, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award). Ben produced the Fountain’s acclaimed productions of Photograph 51, Yellowman, Master Class and Central Avenue, and co–produced the Fountain’sThe Darker Face of the Earth, I Am A Man, and Four by Tennessee. Before joining the Fountain Theatre family, Ben worked at the Los Angeles Theatre Center as Lobby Subscription Manager. Ben was born in Wilkes County, Georgia, but his family moved to Baltimore, MD when he was very young. He was a graduate of Carroll College in Wisconsin, where he majored in theater.
The Fountain Theatre has established The Ben Bradley Memorial Fund to develop new plays at the Fountain. For more information, go to http://fountaintheatre.com/BenBradleyMemorialPage.htm or call Diana at (323) 663-1098.