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Teen charged in death of Auburn announcer Rod Bramblett, wife, now jailed on child porn charges


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Teen charged in death of Auburn announcer Rod Bramblett, wife, now jailed on child porn charges

By Carol Robinson | crobinson@al.com
3-4 minutes

The teen charged in the crash that killed Auburn announcer Rod Bramblett and his wife, Paula, is back behind bars.

Johnston Edward Taylor, now 19, was arrested Thursday on felony warrants charging with six counts of possession of child pornography.

Auburn police and the Alabama Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force launched an investigation on June 7, Assistant Chief Clarence Stewart announced late Thursday night. Taylor was developed as a suspect and, after a search warrant and the collection of evidence, he was arrested and charged.

Taylor was booked into the Lee County Jail with bond set at $60,000.

No additional details about the alleged crimes have yet been made public.

Taylor was charged with manslaughter in the May 25, 2019, deaths of the Brambletts.

It was just after 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 25, 2019 when the Brambletts were killed.

Taylor -- then a 16-year-old Lee Scott Academy student -- was traveling south in the outside lane on Shug Jordan Parkway approaching West Samford Avenue in his Jeep Laredo.

The Brambletts, in a 2017 Toyota Highlander, were stopped in the southbound outside lane of Shug Jordan parkway at a traffic light.

The Jeep struck the Bramblett’s SUV to the right of center, according to the crash report. The impact caused the Jeep to hit a pedestrian and a traffic light pole before coming to a final rest.

The Bramblett’s vehicle was pushed into the intersection and through the opposing lanes of traffic before coming to a final rest on the curb.

Taylor’s “blood sample contained THC, which is the primary psychoactive component of marijuana, and is indicative of recent usage of marijuana at the time of the collision,” records state. The teen was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

Paula Bramblett, 53, was airlifted from the scene but had to be diverted to East Alabama Medical Center due to the severity of her injuries. She was pronounced dead in the emergency room from multiple internal injuries.

Rod Bramblett, 52, who was the driver of the Highlander, was airlifted to UAB Hospital in Birmingham, where he later died from a closed head injury.

At the time of the deadly crash, Taylor was driving 89 mph in a 55-mph zone, under the influence of marijuana, and still accelerating, authorities said, when he rammed into the back of the couple’s SUV.

A judge in April of 2021 granted Taylor youthful offender status in the manslaughter cases.

Lee County Circuit Judge P.B. McLauchlin, a retired judge handling the case, in his order said, “At the time of the accident the defendant was a 16-year-old teenager with no prior criminal history, who had smoked or used marijuana and had been diagnosed with marijuana use disorder,’’ McLauchlin wrote. “None of this justifies what happened; however, it does lend itself to treatment as a Youthful Offender.”

The youthful offender status eliminates a jury trial, if there is a trial, and the range of punishment goes from two to 20 years had he been tried as an adult to zero to three years maximum.

Youth offender cases are sealed, so the outcome of that case is not made public.

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I know the punishment he got for the crash is sealed, but does anyone know what he got? Did he even get any jail time for it? 

 

Hope these new charges, if true, really get him put away for a long time. 

 

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4 hours ago, aubiefifty said:

had been diagnosed with marijuana use disorder,’’

I’m struggling with the fact that apparently this is recognized as a real thing. What has happened to our society?

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