Gov. Newsom commutes sentence of man convicted in 1987 murder of Bakersfield gas station clerk

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGET) — Gov. Gavin Newsom has commuted the sentence of convicted killer Steven Bradley. Bradley was convicted for the 1987 murder of a Bakersfield gas station clerk.

The commutation of Bradley’s sentence was one of 21 commuted sentences and five pardons announced by Newsom’s office Friday evening and allows Bradley to appear before a parole board for a hearing to determine if he is suitable for release from prison.

Bradley was convicted for the 1987 murder of gas station attendant Claude Baker. He was sentenced in 1988 to a sentence of life without the possibility of parole and has served 32 years of his sentence.

In the certificate of clemency, Newsom says Bradley has expressed “sincere remorse” for his crime and “has devoted himself to his rehabilitation.” Newsom notes Bradley has been commended by prison staff for good work ethic and diligence.

In the early morning hours of Sept. 7, 1987, Bradley stopped at a Shell gas station on White Lane where he was confronted by Baker.

Witnesses said Baker and Bradley struggled over a shotgun, and Bradley shot Baker twice as Baker tried to get away. Bradley then took around $350 from the cash register before fleeing in a vehicle and leading police on a high speed chase.

Bradley was 24 years old at the time of Baker’s killing and is now 56 years old.

Newsom also commuted the sentence of Richard Flowers who was convicted to life without parole for the 1994 murder of a Tulare County woman.

The governor’s office said the clemency grants were in process before the COVID-19 pandemic.

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