Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Police chase suspect already on probation from other charges

A Sebree man exchange shots with police and led law enforcement officers on a high speed chase from Clay to Dixon last Tuesday night that ended when the suspect came to a roadblock set by Webster County Sheriff Frankie Springfield and Deputy Mitch Townsend.
At approximately 6:10 p.m. on Tuesday February 25, 2014, Kentucky State Police Post 2 received a call for assistance from the Webster County Sheriff’s Department and the Clay Police Department for a complaint that shots were fired into a residence in Clay, KY.
Upon the arrival of law enforcement, the perpetrator returned to the residence, striking Deputy Scott Starkey with his vehicle and firing additional shots into the residence. At this time, officers discharged their firearms at the perpetrator, striking his vehicle.
The suspect then fled the scene, leading State Troopers and Clay Police Chief Chris Evitts on a chase along highway 132 with speeds reaching 80 to 100 mph. According to Sheriff Springfield at some point during the chase one of the tires on the car had gone flat, but that did not slow the suspect.
Sheriff Springfield and Deputy Mitch Townsend, who had been monitoring the chase by radio used their cruisers to block the road near Dixon. When the chase reached their position the suspect had no other choice but to stop.
“He tossed his weapon during the chase, otherwise things could have gone very differently,” Springfield said.
According to Springfield the suspect sat in his vehicle for several minutes before obeying law enforcement instructions to exit his vehicle, at which time he was taken into custody.
The perpetrator, Tommy R. Branson, age 61, of Sebree, was charged with the following:
•4 counts of “Attempted Murder.”
•1 count of “Attempted Murder (Police Officer).”
•1 count of “Assault-1st Degree.”
•1 count of “Wanton Endangerment-1st Degree.”
•1 count of “Criminal Mischief-1st Degree.”
•1 count of “Tampering with Physical Evidence.”
•1 count of “Fleeing/Evading Police-1st Degree.”

This is the fourth time that Branson has had the attention of law enforcement during the last year.
He was arrested and charged with arson following a fire on Starl Shelton Road near Sebree. On Tuesday, October 8, 2013 Branson appeared before a Webster County Grand Jury for that charge. The jury requested the matter be dismissed because “insufficient evidence was presented to warrant an indictment.”
On January 14, 2014 Branson once again appeared in the Webster County Court House, this time for three separate incidents.
The first was a 3rd Degree Criminal Trespassing Charge. Prosecution in that case was deferred for two years during pretrial conference on the grounds that Branson not have any contact with the property owner or committee any further offenses.
The second charge was 3rd Degree Criminal Mischief. At 3:00 p.m. on October 4, 2013, according to the Sheriff’s report, Branson approached a vehicle parked in the vicinity of Dixon Bank and smashed it’s windshield in with a shovel.
Branson was assessed a $100 fine, plus given 90 days in jail, which was probated for two years as long as Branson did not committee any other offences.
The Third charge was 1st Degree Wanton Endangerment stemming from an incident that happened on October 22, 2013 at approximately 7:00 p.m.  The report from the Sheriff’s Department said that Branson pulled up behind a stopped vehicle at the stoplight in Dixon. He then drove forward until he made contact with the other vehicle, pushing it into oncoming traffic. When the oncoming car managed to pass without incident, Branson fled the scene.
Branson was assessed a $100 fine and given 365 days jail time, which was probated on grounds that he complete one year of treatment at the Boulware Center in Owensboro, have no contact with the driver of the other vehicle and that he pay $2,414.14 restitution to that person.

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