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Family, friends of bail bonds worker killed in Downtown Sacramento assault speak out

Family, friends of victim killed in deadly downtown Sacramento assault speak out
Family, friends of victim killed in deadly downtown Sacramento assault speak out 03:07

SACRAMENTO — The suspect in the deadly beating of a bail bonds employee in Downtown Sacramento was arraigned in court on Wednesday.

Jacob Mandell, 38, is accused of killing 56-year-old Kevin Brace, who had worked at Greg Padilla Bail Bonds on I Street for nearly 30 years. 

"Kevin was brutally murdered," said Kevin's boss, Topo Padilla. "These people walk the streets day in and day out and I am devastated."

Padilla said Brace was working overnight when he opened the door to allow a stranger to make a phone call.

"Kevin was not a man walking down the street that got in an altercation with someone," Padilla said. "Kevin was drug out of our office in the streets of Sacramento [and] beaten to death."

Padilla said Kevin worked the graveyard shift for decades because he wanted to serve the most vulnerable people.

"Just hours before this brutal murder, he gave two homeless people water," Padilla said.

CBS13 met with Kevin's niece, Jordan Brace, before the arraignment.

"You never think it will happen to your family until it does," Jordan said.

She and other loved ones were all in the courtroom when Mandell was arraigned while wearing an orange jumpsuit and a large cast on his right arm.

"It was hard to see the man," Jordan said.

Padilla said that Mandell was not a customer of theirs.

"Never did I think in my lifetime I would be standing in my shoes, sitting in that courtroom doing what I just did," Padilla said.

Padilla described Kevin as a simple man who also had a passion for wrestling. He was watching wrestling right before the beating happened.

This is not Mandell's first time behind bars. Records show he was previously arrested for DUI and domestic violence. Sacramento police said he was not homeless.

San Juan Unified School District confirmed that Mandell was a wrestling coach at El Camino Fundamental High School from  November 2023 to March 2024. The district said that he had no prior employment with them and that every coach goes through fingerprinting.

"It just sucks that there are people out there that want to harm others," Jordan said.

Extra security guards are now being told to patrol around the area where the brutal beating happened around 4 a.m. Monday.

Kevin Brace's work family and real family are searching for justice and for this to never happen to anyone else.

"He was an amazing, fun, kind person," Jordan said. "He was married to my aunt Wendy for years and years and he loved her so much."

Mandell is now behind bars at the Sacramento County Jail, across the street from Greg Padilla Bail Bonds. He will be back in court at 8:30 a.m. on June 12.

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