Breaking News
More () »

Defendant surprises court with guilty plea at start of murder trial

The judge appeared surprised after his defense attorney responded to her that Konning was pleading guilty.

BEAUMONT, Texas — A Beaumont man changed his plea to guilty just as his trial for the murder of the mother of his child was beginning Tuesday morning.

Less than two minutes into his murder trial in Jefferson County's 252nd District Court Bradley Robert Konning, 25, changed his plea to guilty.

Judge Raquel West appeared surprised after his defense attorney responded to her that Konning was pleading guilty.

The guilty plea came immediately after the prosecutor read the indictment at the start of the trial.

The state had charged that Konning fatally shot Liz Carpio, 32, of Beaumont, on April 29, 2021 in the Oaks Historic District of Beaumont.

Konning and Carpio had a 1-year-old child together according to Shari Pulliam of Child Protective Services. The child is now living with a relative.

Judge West originally entered a guilty plea for Konning but after a brief recess withdrew it and instructed the jury to find him guilty based on his guilty plea because he had initially asked for a jury trial.

The punishment phase of the trial then got underway. Konning could face anywhere from five to 99 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, according to the prosecution.

Konning was arrested by Beaumont Police just after 11:30 p.m. on the same day as the murder last year. The chain of events that lead up to Carpio’s murder were described as chilling. 

An employee with the district attorney's office testified on Tuesday that the day before the shooting, Carpio had attempted to file a restraining order against Konning.

Authorities said Konning pulled up to Carpio’s home, jumped out of a car, punched her, stole her gun and then shot her to death. Investigators later found a fresh bouquet of flowers on the ground near Carpio's body.  

An H-E-B employee said Konning had bought the flowers the day before the murder.

Carpio’s best friend testified Tuesday that she was on the phone with Carpio before she was killed. In court, Carpio's best friend said she heard her scream, “He’s here! He’s Here! Bradley’s here! Call the cops.”

Shortly after that phone call, Carpio was fatally shot. Konning's sister admitted he confessed to her.

Konning could face other charges such as resisting arrest and abandoning or endangering a child.

RELATED: Police arrest suspect in Thursday fatal shooting of woman in Beaumont

Not long after Carpio's body was found in the 2500 block of McFaddin Street police announced that they were looking for Konning initially as a person of interest.

The case was handled by family violence investigators with the Beaumont Police Department.

"To me, it kind of seemed like, the way it happened that maybe she didn't want to be with him no more, and he just got mad and he just... he killed her. Then he threw flowers on her," neighbor Rae-Lioanni Hawkins told a 12News crew at the scene on the day of the murder.

GET NEWS & WEATHER ALERTS | Download the 12News App to your mobile device 

CRIME STOPPERS | Submit a tip @ 833Tips.com

CRIME STOPPERS APP | Download the P3 Tips App

This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.

Send us a news tip | Download our app | 12News “In the Know” Newsletter

Also on 12NewsNow.com…

Before You Leave, Check This Out