Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Like Father, Like Son?

Yesterday afternoon CourtWatch monitored a bond motion for 19-year old Winter Garden resident Christopher Brannon, who had been arrested on 10/1/09 for Burglary with Assault or Battery (a felony punishable by life in prison) against his ex-girlfriend, who is 17-years old.  Assistant State Attorney Michelle Latham did a thorough job of demonstrating the defendant's propensity toward violent behavior directed at the victim.

In addition to testimony about his stalking behavior, State witnesses testified about three separate instances of alleged vandalism to her vehicle (dents, a broken window, slashed tires), tearing a dress she owned (not while she was wearing it), gaining access to the home without permission, punching holes into interior doors, and making suicide threats.  The victim has repeatedly not wanted to pursue a criminal case. That is, until this assault on October 1st wherein he shoved his way into her home while her mother was at work, grabbed her, shattered her cell phone, and smashed the back of her head into a table - all because he just wanted to talk to her and she repeatedly begged him to leave.

This young man scares me. He looks like such a nice young man. In fact, that's what all the witnesses for the defense testified. They talked about how polite and well-mannered he is when he visits their homes. I wonder if they've ever seen him spend time with his girlfriend. His actions at such a young age demonstrate textbook Power & Control Wheel behavior.

This young man's father scares me too. He took pride in mentioning his service to our country as a Marine, and is now employed as an intelligence analyst for a defense contractor (something I admire & greatly appreciate). His demeanor, however, screamed "power and control" to me. He minimized his son's previous brush with the law (a petit theft charge), repeatedly stated "I can assure you..." or "I can state unequivocally..." that he would stay on top of his son should Judge Alicia Latimore see fit to grant a bond. He stressed the "Marine traits" of honesty, dependability, trustworthiness, and respect for authority as traits that he had instilled in his son. He testified that his son assumes the role of "man of the house" when dad travels for his job. Even though the attorneys and the judge questioned him several times about how extensively he travels, a clear answer was never given (i.e., how many nights per month he was out of town). I also wonder, is Mom not capable of running the household when her husband is away? Why would a teenager be given this kind of authority when Mom is there?

And then Judge Latimore commented that perhaps Dad had impulse control issues because he had to be ejected from the courtroom last week for losing his temper at a previous hearing. I'm sorry I missed that hearing.

Ultimately, the judge granted a $15,000 bond (which was $10,000 more than defense counsel Michael Lafay requested), home confinement in his parents' home (except when working or as otherwise approved by the home confinement officer), ordered no contact with the victim or her family, stay more than 1 mile away from the victim's residence and 1/2 mile away from her high school, and to possess no weapons.

I am unclear as to why GPS tracking was not ordered.  If the judge is going to permit Mr. Brannon to go to work, he needs to be tracked. The victim's home is only 4 miles away from his. And her high school is only 1/2 mile away from where he lives.

Both Brannons frighten me.

But what frightens me most is that a young girl is at now at risk because her ex-boyfriend in out of jail without GPS tracking to monitor his movements.


  1. The scarey part about this is all the defense witnesses that see this young man as good and upstanding. It's always what happens when the media interviews the next door neighbors when a dv murder has taken place. The neigbors say how nice and friendly the perpetrator is and can't imagine he would do such a terrible thing as murdering his wife.
    DV is a deadly issue in our community and we just keep minimizing this. Would Judge Latimore have given such an easy bond to a perpetrator if the victim was her daughter?
    WE MUST BEGIN TO SAY THAT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WILL NOT BE TOLERATED IN OUR COMMUNITY. Perpetrators of domestic violence completely rely on victims not to go through with prosecution which only puts her life at more of a risk for the next incident of violence. WAKE UP COURTS! PUT THESE SCUMBAGS IN JAIL!!!

  2. These petty justice officials need to be VOTED OUT if possible. Clean slate for Orange county.

  3. All these DV abusers are nice guys, they're skilled at fooling everyone. Look at Ted Bundy...

  4. One sided much? this is such bs, your compairing this kid to Ted Bundy?

  5. My name is Giovanni Mannella, I have known Chris for over many years and I am his best friend. There are a few things you should know about the above article…
    Take it for the grain of salt it is, the attention to detail is slandered by its bias. The article is wrong on many points; let me start from the top. Chris Brannon has never been seen with any stalking behavior or has had any psychiatric documentation of such. His acts toward Kim did not include any vandalism to Kim’s possessions, including her vehicle and apparel. Her vehicle was in a “junk” state due to the awful parking system enforced by West Orange High School, the local high school both attended. The parking lot was merely a hard dirt surface with many pot holes and as you would expect most teens, careless drivers. Chris Brannon shows no record or any evidence towards any act of vandalism. Chris Brannon has also never gained access to Kim’s home our property without permission and no evidence shows he has violated that.
    The story of the last encounter of Chris Brannon and Kim provided by Laura S Williams, a mere observer in one court appearance, is incorrect. Chris Brannon did not force entry into Kim’s home, did not assault her in any way, and did not destroy property. Chris Brannon arrived at the house and was let in by Kim so they could talk about the break up. During the conversation Kim did not want to talk anymore and Chris motioned for her to please stay and finish the conversation in which Kim acknowledged and sat back down. When the officers arrived on scene, Kim lied and told the officer Chris forced entry and assaulted her. No evidence of forced entry with or without intent to steal or assault marks on Kim were found. Chris was later arrested and placed in solitary confinement for 2 weeks, even though no charges were placed.
    What happened to being innocent until proven guilty? Can anyone make up a story to have someone put in prison without any charges?
    As a very close friend I have spent a lot of time around Chris and can attest to his kind nature. Chris Brannon is not a power or control “freak” and does not seek to demean others with brute force or slander. Being close to Chris meant I have had time to get to know his entire family, as well as the girl friend of the time, Kim. The entire family is very kind and welcoming. His father, a highly recognized marine, should not be slandered in any way for his service to this country. His traits of honesty, dependability, trustworthiness, and respect have carried over to his sons Chris and Hunter. Both are outstanding young men who have lived to these standards throughout life.
    To be truthful about Kim, she seemed like they type of girl you want to bring back to show mom. She was had a nice personality and kind look. However her façade was very alluring of her true nature. She had a personality of what her peers called “Psycho”. She had a very unsure nature that caused her to lash out in lies and deceive others to get what she wanted. After word spread on the arrest of Chris Brannon, her true nature was revealed. All of Kim’s peers, acquaintances, and classmates have shunned her. The once social butterfly is now the awkward turtle, a social outcast. That is something you wouldn’t have noticed in a court room.
    In recent news: The ex-girlfriend Kim, her mother, and the officer on the scene of arrest were all found lying while under oath. That is documented proof.

  6. I am Kim's father, Steven Ribble, and I have just found this site. I must take issue with the comments of Mr. Mannella because if anything, they are the one's that are biased.
    Chris and Kim had a long relationship, during which Chris displayed polar personalities. Prior to his graduation he wanted to get married and on multiple occasions he demonstrated anger and violence...including denting her vehicle, breaking cell phones, refusing to vacate the premises, and punching holes in doors and walls, which remain to this day.
    If Chris is the angelic person Mr. Manella claims him to be, then why did the final incident take place several months after their 'break-up' and why was it so severe? If he is in fact a good and decent person, why can he not be respectful of others...especially one he claims to have loved?
    This is the worst kind of violence, it is psychological and physical...but, walls and cars can be fixed; however, my daughter's memory of her first significant relationship will always remain...and I worry about what that means for her ability to trust future relationships and allow herself to become involved in a loving, normal relationship.

  7. There are always two sides to every story. I think the parent's of both parties should have discussed the actions taken. The boy's friends and family state the two continued to date, and had not broken up. The parent's of the girl insist that the couple had broken off this relationship. Hmmm, whom is telling the truth. Maybe the Judge, and attorney's and should sit these children, and that's what they are (CHILDREN) down together and discuss this situation. There seems to be a lack of knowledge from the girl's parents that she was involved with this young man. Where they not aware of whom she dated and where she spent her time after school. Are both parent's in her daily life? Lots of unanswered questions about this case. As to the fact that you are afraid of both Brannon's, do you or have you ever met either of these men? You seem to place yourself and your situation in 1996 in all domestic viloence situations. I think statement's and article's like your's should not be published for the public to read. Those are solely your opinions and unfortunately your stories affect the outcome of many innocent people! To Mr. Ribble, please explain what polar personalities are to me. Do you have a degree stating you can make this diagnosis. Upon having met your daughter and I do hold a medical degree, I think she is the one that not only has bipolar tendancies, but I think she displays passive aggressive behavior. So people my suggestion to all reading this the innocent ARE innocent until proven GUILTY. We should be all on the same side of the fence protecting all the children at are being abducted and murdered. We should stop drup abuse in schools. I look forward to all feedback from this statement.. Thank You