A brother of Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock made his first appearance in court in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, where he pleaded not guilty to child pornography charges.
Bruce Douglas Paddock, 58, was arrested at a Valley Village nursing home this week and charged with 20 counts of sexual exploitation of a child or possessing child pornography dating to 2014. Prosecutors alleged in court papers that he had more than 600 pornographic images of children.
Paddock was brought into court in a wheelchair, with his shoulders hunched and his hands cuffed and clasped in front of him. His public defender urged the judge to release him back to the assisted living facility where he was arrested with an ankle monitor, saying Paddock was in severe pain and needed medical care after four back surgeries.
“There’s nowhere he’s going to be able to go anyway,” said the attorney, Mearl Lottman.
The decision on bail will be made at a hearing next week. Until then, Paddock will stay behind bars in lieu of $60,000 bail.
Lottman declined to speak to reporters after the hearing.
The Los Angeles Police Department insisted their investigation was not connected to the mass shooting Paddock’s older brother carried out earlier this month. Stephen Paddock’s Oct. 1 attack on a country music concert killed 58 people and wounded hundreds more.
The LAPD’s investigation into Bruce Paddock began before the shooting, said Josh Rubenstein, a department spokesman.
“There’s no connection,” he said after the arrest Wednesday.
The inquiry began after evidence was found in a Sun Valley business where Bruce Paddock had been squatting, the LAPD said in a statement this week. That evidence was discovered after Paddock was evicted, police said.
Bruce Paddock was homeless at the time and investigators couldn’t find him, the LAPD said, adding that they had “recently” tracked him to the Valley Village facility where he was ultimately arrested.
The Paddock family drew national attention in the wake of the Las Vegas rampage as police and the public tried to learn more about Stephen Paddock, whose motive remains a mystery. Stephen Paddock had three brothers; their father was a convicted bank robber who was once placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.
Bruce Paddock had numerous run-ins with law enforcement over the last 25 years, according to Los Angeles County criminal records.
In 1989, he was charged with assault and battery and criminal contempt of court, although the charges were later dismissed, according to court records.
In 1993, Paddock was charged with annoying a child under 18 but was acquitted, court records show.
Between 1994 and 1995, prosecutors accused Paddock of various property crimes and driving without a license. He twice pleaded no contest to driving on a suspended license and to tampering with a vehicle, according to court documents.
More recently, he was charged with burglary and petty theft while having a previous conviction. He pleaded no contest to petty theft, and the burglary charge was dismissed, records show.
In separate cases in 2005 and 2006, Paddock was charged with making verbal threats, vandalism and arson. He was convicted of making threats and vandalism, but the arson charges were dismissed.
He was convicted of criminal contempt of court in 2007, according to public records.
Paddock pleaded no contest to vandalism in 2014, court records show.