MONROVIA (—  For more than 30 years, friends and colleagues knew James Edward Heard as the hard-working head of a drug rehab center in Pasadena.

Heard is now under arrest.  Heard’s name is actually Richard Bradford.

Bradford is a convicted murderer who skipped out on parole more than 30 years ago. Bradford was convicted of first-degree murder and first-degree attempted robbery in 1971. He killed an employee of a mini market in San Jose. He was sentenced to life in prison but got out after seven years.

Bradford was officially classified a PAL — parolee at large — in 1980. He changed his name, identity and assumed a fake Social Security number, according to authorities.

In early 2011, officials learned Heard owned several properties in the Pasadena area including an upscale drug rehab facility called Eaton Canyon Treatment Center.

One of Bradford’s neighbors told KCAL9’s Kristine Lazar the idea the convicted killer was in their midst is disturbing. “It’s horrifying. It’s very, very scary,” the neighbor said.

Bradford’s attorney requested that Bradford be given some time to turn himself in. He never surrendered. Authorities said they spent the next two years actively trying to find him. He transferred his properties into a trust and put his credit cards and vehicles in the name of the treatment center making it difficult to locate him.

He was arrested on March 10 after he and his wife were observed leaving their Pasadena home. They were followed to a Home Depot in Monrovia where both were taken into custody upon exiting their vehicle.

Bradford’s wife told Lazar the charges against her husband were fictitious.

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