Brad Michael O’Neill – MBC (Seal), United States Navy

A former friend, Navy Seal Seal, Brad O’neil is buried in Arlington Cememtary and is not mentioned on your site.

Please give honor this and post this on your website.
CW2 James D. Onstott, December 2005
Counter Strike Task Force, United States Army

17 August 2001:

We read all the time about violent crimes (shootings, stabbings, etc.), those that are reported in our local paper, at least, or reported on the local TV news.

There is a newspaper story in the Arizona Daily Star today (Thursday, 16 August 2001, about a sort-of-infamous murder case here in Tucson, Arizona.

A decorated, White, Navy SEAL, Brad O’Neill, age 35, was leaving a restaurant/bar on a “good” side of Tucson (Northside), in March 2000, when a young Mexican male, Gabriel Hernandez, age 22, began taunting his sister as the O’Neills sat in a car in the parking lot of the restaurant/bar (they were actually leaving the bar).

Anyway, after O’Neill told Hernandez to stop his insults and get away from their car several times, a fight occurred, ending with the Mexican male stabbing the White male “at least six times,” killing him.

This information is in reference to the murder of Chief Brad M. O’Neill,United States Navy, on 4 March 2000, in Tucson, Arizona.

Your attention is directed to “The Arizona Daily Star” article, “SEAL’s killer had no choice but to use knife” dated 16 August 2001.

“Before the trial started, Superior Court Judge John F. Kelly asked two audience members in white Navy uniforms to return to their hotel rooms and change clothes. Kelly said he did not want to prejudice the jury through the “demonstration of patriotism.” The two men returned about 40 minutes later wearing civilian clothes.”

High court disbars Peasley
Cites misconduct in El Grande trial
By Joseph Barrios

Pima County prosecutor Ken Peasley is barred from practicing law in Arizona, the state’s highest court ordered.

In a unanimous opinion released Friday, Justice Michael D. Ryan wrote that Peasley presented false testimony to put two defendants on death row, a move that “violated one of the most important duties of a lawyer.”

“We cannot conceive of a more serious injury, not just to the defendants but to the criminal justice system, than a prosecutor’s presentation of false testimony in a capital murder case,” the court said.

Peasley, who could not be reached for comment, was twice honored as the state’s prosecutor of the year by the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys Advisory Council, a training group funded by levies on fines paid by criminal defendants. He has worked as a lawyer in Pima County for more than a quarter-century and served as chief criminal deputy county attorney before retiring.

Known to wag a finger and raise his voice during criminal proceedings, he’s been lauded by victim-rights advocates and displayed a relentless demeanor in the courtroom. Peasley suffered a heart attack and had surgery in January 2003.

The State Bar of Arizona accused Peasley of misconduct in connection with the criminal trial of suspects in the 1992 murder of three people at a neighborhood store on the city’s South Side, El Grande Market. The State Bar filed a complaint against Peasley claiming he elicited false testimony from Joseph Godoy, a former Tucson police detective, during criminal trials in the case.

Both he and Godoy went to work at the office of Brick Storts, a Tucson lawyer. Godoy works as an investigator, while Peasley has handled criminal defense cases and divorces.

Storts said he believes Peasley has 30 days to either wrap up pending cases or transfer them to other attorneys. Storts said Peasley is welcome to continue working in his office, possibly as a paralegal.

“You can’t take his brains away from him,” Storts said. “I think he’s probably one of the brightest lawyers I’ve ever had the pleasure of being associated with. He deals effectively with the clients and this includes both the civil clients and the criminal defendants.”

A written mandate will soon be filed detailing when Peas-ley must stop practicing law.Peasley can apply for reinstatement to the State Bar in five years, said Matt Silverman, a spokesman for the group. Upon reapplication, Peasley would have to take the bar exam, pass a character and fitness test and prove that “whatever behavior led to disbarment has been corrected.”

Although no statistics were immediately available, readmission “doesn’t happen often,” Silverman said.

Peasley has 20 days to ask the court to reconsider its ruling, said Tom Augherton, a spokesman for the state Supreme Court.

Peasley prosecuted some of the county’s most notorious criminals, including:

Jack Jewitt and David Anthony Trostle, both convicted of first-degree murder in the September 1993 carjacking killing of Ellen Marie Knauss.

Michael Woolbright, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison after being convicted of second-degree murder in the February 1993 drive-by shooting death of 13-year-old Michael Governale.

Gabriel Hernandez, convicted of second-degree murder for the fatal March 2000 stabbing of Chief Petty Officer Brad O’Neill, a U.S. Navy SEAL. Hernandez was sentenced to 10 years in prison, marking the last murder case prosecuted by Peasley.

The court’s decision was perhaps forecast in 2002, when it threw out the conviction and death sentence of El Grande defendant Andre Lamont Minnitt. The court said at that time that Peasley “engaged in extreme misconduct” that was “grossly improper and highly prejudicial” to Minnitt and the criminal justice system. Minnitt has yet to finish a 36-year sentence for the unrelated robbery of a Tucson restaurant.

Christopher McCrimmon was eventually acquitted of the El Grande murders while Martin Soto-Fong, convicted in the case, is on death row and seeking an appeal in federal court.

In Friday’s opinion, the state’s high court found that Peasley allowed Godoy to falsely testify that McCrimmon, Minnitt and Soto-Fong weren’t suspects before a key witness interview, but police actually had investigated them earlier.
Prosecutors filed perjury charges against Godoy, who retired from the Tucson Police Department. Superior Court Judge Lina Rodriguez dismissed those charges.


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 09/25/1964
  • DATE OF DEATH: 03/04/2000

Read our general and most popular articles

Leave a Comment