Gang Member Michael Branham Gets 29-Year Sentence

Monday, September 17, 2012
Michael Lebron Branham
Michael Lebron Branham

An admitted gang member who has already served two stints in federal prison though he is just 25 was sentenced to 29 years in state prison on Monday.

Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman found that Michael Lebron Branham has been involved in crime since he was a young teen and said he goes back to a life of crime each time he is released.

Branham got 11 years for aggravated robbery to be served at 100 percent. He received nine years for aggravated assault, six years for coercion of a witness and nine years for aggravated burglary. Those sentences are at 35 percent and are consecutive to the 11 years. He also receives a mandatory nine-year term for use of a firearm during the commission of a felony. It is also to be served consecutively.

A jury earlier found Branham guilty in connection with a March 10, 2011, robbery at Emma Wheeler Homes.

Witnesses said Branham and another man burst into a residence with guns and demanded money. They got away with from $150-$200 and a small bag of marijuana. The other man has not been identified. Branham was questioned Monday on the stand by prosecutor Lance Pope, and he claimed he was alone in the incident.

It was testified that Branham was armed with a Tech9 assault rifle and he told those at the residence, "I'll spray you."

While a police investigator was at the scene, Branham called Regika Tillery to warn her not to call police. Ms. Tillery put the call on speaker phone and the detective listened in, then got on the phone himself with Branham.

Branham admitted he earlier was a member of the Rollin' 60s Crips. He displayed a "Rollin'" tattoo on his hand and acknowledged he is sometimes called "M60." He identified himself by that name in one jail conversation that was taped.

His mother, Kathy Johnson, said he was "a sweet child" whose father had no part in his life. She noted he was ADHD as a child and he began to get into trouble in Juvenile Court when he was 14.

Another of her sons, LeMario Branham, has been charged in a recent murder of a woman at East Lake Courts, but she said he was falsely accused.

Michael Branham told a probation officer that in the past he used marijuana four days a week and ecstasy pills daily.

He said he has a young daughter in Atlanta. He was in prison when she was born. He had been in Atlanta at a halfway house following his second federal prison stint.  

Branham, who was smiling after imposition of the lengthy prison terms, said he got his GED in prison earlier and will continue to study while he serves the new sentences. 

Judge Steelman said Branham is intelligent and a leader, but he said he had not used those abilities "in a positive way."

 

Branham after the sentencing
Branham after the sentencing


Latest Bradley County Arrest Report

Click  here  for the latest Bradley County arrest report. (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADAMS, SHELIA KAY  9607 BARBEE ROAD LOT 64 SODDY DAISY, 37379  Age at Arrest: 52 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County CONTEMPT OF COURT (NON SUPPORT) --- ARMSTRONG, JOHN MELVILLE  119 FLEETWOOD DR LOOKOUT MTN, 37350  Age at Arrest: 53 years old Arresting Agency: Lookout Mountain ... (click for more)

Reflections On Billy Graham

Sandra and I are saddened this morning after learning of the death of Billy Graham. We rejoice today, because Mr. Graham once said "It will be reported that Billy Graham has died, but that won't be the truth. He said the truth is that he had only moved to a new location".  I remember when we named 15th Street as Billy Graham Avenue, his daughter Gigi came for the dedication ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We’re The Angriest State

WalletHub, a financial-health website that has found it can draw a lot of attention by ranking the states on which is “fattest,” smartest, and so forth, has just announced its “sinful” rating and Tennessee churches should be ashamed of the job they are doing in making the Volunteer State a haven for puritans. Then again, our tourism may soon explode … remember Sodom & Gomorrah. ... (click for more)

Young Mocs Fall To Mercer 65-56

 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga freshmen Brooke Burns and Mya Long combined for 36 points in the Mocs’ 65-56 loss to Mercer in Southern Conference women’s basketball action at Hawkins Arena Thursday night. Chattanooga falls to 16-11 on the year and 7-6 in league play. The Bears, ranked 25th in the USA Today Coaches Top 25 Poll, are now 26-2 and 13-0 in SoCon action. ... (click for more)

Covenant Softball Wins Two In Home Opener

The Covenant softball team finally played its home opener and outlasted both the weather and visiting Judson to earn a doubleheader sweep on Thursday afternoon. The Lady Scots won 4-2 in game one, which was delayed over an hour due to heavy rain, and then recorded a 9-1 victory in the finale. Covenant (6-8) had played its first 12 games on the road or in neutral site locations. ... (click for more)