Branum Enters Guilty Plea
A Kennett man charged with killing his wife in May 2014 pled guilty Wednesday, Feb. 24, to second degree murder. Allan Branum appeared before Circuit Judge Robert Mayer in a courtroom at the Dunklin County Justice Center in Kennett.
Branum was charged with first degree murder and armed criminal action in the shooting death of Regena Branum, formerly of Rector, on May 22, 2014, during an argument at their home on North Jackson Street in Kennett. Police took Branum into custody that night. He was released briefly on bond last summer, but that bond later was revoked after Branum failed to meet the conditions of his release.
The armed criminal action charge will be dismissed due to Wednesday's plea.
Branum is facing between 10 to 30 years or life in prison. The nature of the crime dictates that he will serve 85 percent of whatever sentence is set.
"We've had quite a few depositions in this matter," Dunklin County Pros. Atty. Jeff McCormick said. "We've talked to the immediate family. Not that there is any real justice that can ever be brought for Regena Branum, we thought that his acknowledgment that he did commit a crime -- this office is very pleased that he entered into a plea of murder in the second degree."
McCormick added that second degree murder would have been on the table in a trial. "Based on everything we know about the case, I felt like even when we take this case to a jury, there may not be enough for us to get to a murder first. I think even after a jury trial we end up murder second." First degree murder includes the element of premeditation.
Sentencing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday, April 21.