Top Sentence Given Man in Stepson Killing

A photographer who the prosecution said killed his former stepson to punish his ex-wife was sentenced Monday to the maximum term of 27 years-to-life in prison.

Bruce Bradley Ralph, 59, of Newport Beach was convicted April 4 of first-degree murder in the Aug. 1, 1984, slaying of Bradley Kaye, 18, the son of Ralph’s former wife, Carol Ralph.

Witnesses testified that they saw Ralph struggling with what appeared to be a lifeless body on Bonita Canyon Drive near Coyote Canyon Road in Irvine but said Ralph told them the youth had become ill and he was taking him to a doctor.

Ralph was arrested the night of the shooting, although Kaye’s body was not found until Aug. 6.


At his trial, Ralph testified that he shot Kaye accidentally when Kaye tried to stop him from committing suicide.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Richard King argued to jurors that Ralph killed Kaye as an act of revenge against his ex-wife, Carol.

The sentence imposed on Ralph by Superior Judge Ronald E. Owen means that Ralph will not be eligible for parole until he has served 13 1/2 years. Carol Ralph read a statement at the sentencing, urging that officials consider the effect of Ralph’s action on her and their other children before paroling him.