Grand jury declines to indict Scott County teen on murder charges

Thursday, August 19, 2010 ~ Updated 4:46 PM
Brianna Branson

BENTON, Mo. -- A Scott County grand jury declined to return two charges, including murder, for a Miner teen accused of killing another teen with a truck last month, the Sikeston Standard Democrat reported.

According to an indictment filed Tuesday with Circuit Court Clerk Christy M. Hency, the grand jury agreed to charge Brianna M. Branson, 17, with the Class D felony of leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident for failing to stop and give her name and information to a police officer after knowingly striking the other teen with a truck; and tampering with evidence, a Class A misdemeanor, for disposing of alcohol in her possession that was evidence of a minor in possession of alcohol resulting from her attendance at an underage alcohol party.

"The grand jury heard the evidence, and these are the charges that they returned," said Scott County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Boyd.

Bond was reduced to $25,000 cash or surety, which Branson posted on Tuesday and was later released.

Branson was also originally charged with second-degree murder and second-degree assault, stemming from a July 24 incident in which the Sikeston Department of Public Safety responded to a call of a subject who had been run over on the 900 block of Westview Road in Sikeston. When officers arrived on the scene, they found 18-year-old Kendra Gray, with whom Branson was reported to have had an ongoing feud for more than seven months, lying dead in the roadway.

At an arraignment held July 28, Branson pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.

Boyd said the investigation into the incident continues.

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