COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VA (WWBT) – A childhood friend of the man charged with murdering an elderly Colonial Heights couple is speaking out.
27-year-old Matthew Brady is facing capital murder charges in the beating deaths of Joseph and Evelyn Bland. Billy Elder says he befriended Brady while the two were in middle school.
Elder says back then Brady was quiet until you got to know him.
"Me and Matt and a few of the other guys throughout 7th and 8th grade -- we were the gothic type -- we wore the baggy clothes," said Elder.
Elder describes Brady as, "your average student." He adds, "Brady was one of the funnier ones. People looked at him for joking. He was never a bully or anything like that."
Elder says he was surprised to hear his former best bud is now facing two counts of robbery and two counts of capital murder in the deaths of Joseph and Evelyn Bland.
The elderly couple was beaten to death inside their Colonial Heights home last month. But Brady's brush with the law started well before he was charged with double murder. In 2002, he pled guilty to sexual battery against a juvenile. According to court records Brady used threats, force, and intimidation against the minor while committing the crime.
In October of last year, Brady was charged with abduction, vandalism and assault of a family member. Court records list his spouse as the victim. A protective order was issued.
Brady was arrested for violating the protective order on January 28th -- the same day he was charged with murdering the Bland's.
As for Elder, he never expected his childhood friend who told jokes in class to end up with a mug shot and a murder wrap.
Elder says he last saw Brady about two years ago while attending the funeral of a mutual friend. Brady is scheduled to be in court in connection to those murder charges on May 4th.