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Ex-boyfriend of Cleveland Heights woman found dead in garbage sentenced to life in prison

Posted at 1:33 PM, Feb 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-12 17:40:48-05

CLEVELAND — The ex-boyfriend of a Cleveland Heights woman whose body was found in a garbage can in 2018 was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for her murder at a hearing Tuesday afternoon.

Yaphet Bradley, 35, was charged with aggravated murder, kidnapping, murder, felonious assault, domestic violence, gross abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

In the days before Tuesday's sentencing hearing, Bradley's counsel had requested a change of plea from guilty to not guilty. The state opposed the motion. The presiding judge weighed the arguments, and ultimately denied Bradley's motion for a change of plea.

At the conclusion of the sentencing hearing, the judge said: "Looking at the brutality of that was used with respect to her life being taken by your hands, I believe it rises to the worst of the worst offense, Mr. Bradley. I believe at this time you have forfeited your place in a free society."

The judge then sentenced Bradley to life in prison without parole, plus three years. Other counts will run concurrently to that sentence.

RELATED: Ex-boyfriend of Cleveland Hts. woman found dead in garbage can indicted on aggravated murder charge

Bradley was arrested in March 2018 in connection with the death of 31-year-old Miriam Johnson, who was reported missing on March 7, 2018. She was last seen by her family on Feb. 26.

Her body was found inside a garbage can inside a residence on the 7300 block of Chamberlain Avenue on the city's east side. The residence is several blocks northeast of Woodland Cemetery and west of Fairfax Park.

According to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office, Bradley is the father of three of Johnson's four children. Bradley has a history of domestic violence charges involving Johnson, authorities said.