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 Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BAILEY, BLAKE AARON  206 TUNNELL BLVD CHATTANOOGA, 37411  Age at Arrest: 24 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County VEHICULAR ASSAULT --- BARROW, JALAYCIAN  2709 CITICO AVENUE APT W1 CHATTANOOGA, 37404  Age at Arrest: 18 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DOMESTIC ASSAULT ... (click for more)

Police Blotter: Shots Fired On Mallette Road; Pit Bull Missing

Police said shots were fired on Mallette Road, and a pit bull is missing. Janice Pritchett said she heard 2-3 gunshots. Her neighbor, Ronald Smith, said he fired three shots after Ms. Pritchett's black pit bull came after him. He said the dog approached him barking and growling on his front porch. He said he frantically reached inside the front door to get his Cobra ... (click for more)

The Heart Of A Teacher Makes A Difference - And Response (2)

In less than four weeks, I expect to be one of 216 graduating seniors from East Hamilton School. One could say all possible variables help a student rise to the highest levels in school; but a student is more than his environment or genetic code. He is a mixture of his own propensity and dedication to academics, coupled with a systemic team of mentors who give their all as a student’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: FBI To Study ‘Lickers’

About 25 years ago there was a terrifying movie called “The Silence of the Lambs.” It was so good it won the Academy Awards in all five categories – Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Adapted Screenplay. Further, Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster were brilliant, but do you remember the third “star?” Scott Glenn played a character named “Jack Crawford,” the ... (click for more)

Orange (Defense) Rallies To Beat White (Offense), 54-44

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.  –  The White-clad offense put on a show in Tennessee’s spring football game on Saturday afternoon, but it was the Orange-shirted defense that took home the victory, 54-44, in front of an announced crowd of 63,016 at Neyland Stadium. Coach Butch Jones was impressed with the Vols' collective performance on Saturday compared to two years ago. ... (click for more)

Siblings Shine For East Hamilton Tennis

For East Hamilton tennis, it’s the new millennium’s version of the late 1970s TV sitcom “Eight is Enough” or the movie “Yours, Mine and Ours”. Three sets of siblings are represented on coach Michael Jackson’s teams from 1-7 in singles and all played and won  Friday  in district matches with Bradley Central. With no seniors on either team and both squads looking ... (click for more)