Amherst man pleads not guilty in fatal shooting of long-time companion’s father

STEVENS POINT − A 78-year-old Amherst man charged with shooting his companion's 92-year-old father on Nov. 27 pleaded not guilty Monday in Portage County Circuit Court.

Miles W. Bradley is charged with first-degree intentional homicide for the shooting death of Clarence H. Banks. Portage County Circuit Judge Patricia Baker scheduled Bradley's next hearing for June 27. A five-day trial has been scheduled to begin Aug. 14.

According to the criminal complaint, Bradley had been living with Banks' daughter for about 20 years. Banks' wife had died earlier in 2022, so his daughter had been spending a lot of time in Texas, where Banks and his wife had lived.

Banks' daughter drove him to her home in Amherst at the beginning of November, so that she could spend Thanksgiving with him. Banks' daughter owned the Amherst home.

Bradley had become angry over the amount of time Banks' daughter was spending in Texas, and he yelled at a friend who had defended her actions, according to the complaint. Banks' daughter told Bradley she was coming home with her father and she hoped Bradley would be out of the house when she arrived.

Bradley was still in the house when Banks and his daughter arrived on Nov. 20. He was good from that day until Nov. 26, according to the complaint. On Nov. 26, there was trouble with the television and Banks' daughter asked Bradley to fix it. Bradley began yelling and swearing. The woman began yelling back, and Bradley "stormed off," according to the complaint.

Bradley came out of a bedroom about midnight Nov. 27 and asked Banks' daughter if she was still not speaking to him. She told him no and it was time to leave, according to the complaint. Bradley went back into the bedroom, then came out and started to complain about the time the woman was spending with her father.

The woman told Bradley that family comes first, and she was going to help her father. Bradley then pulled out a handgun and pointed it at the woman, according to the complaint. When the woman asked Bradley if he was going to shoot her, he said, "No, I'm going to shoot your dad," according to the complaint. Bradley said Banks was ruining their relationship.

The woman tried to block Bradley from going down a set of stairs to where her father slept. She yelled for her brother to help her, but her brother didn't hear her. Instead, Banks heard her and started up the steps. Bradley leaned over the stair's railing and shot Banks in the head, according to the complaint.

Banks' daughter ran down the stairs to help him and his son came out of his bedroom and called 911. When deputies arrived Bradley was outside and said the gun was on the table in the house. A deputy found the gun on the table, a casing on a stair near the top of the steps, a bullet about halfway down the stairs and Banks lying at the foot of the stairs, according to the complaint.

Bradley is being held in the Portage County Jail pending a $1 million cash bail. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

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This article originally appeared on Stevens Point Journal: Amherst man pleads not guilty in fatal shooting of companion’s father