Timothy Branson pleads guilty to murdering his wife in 2012

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Jurors were dismissed early Monday after 11th hour plea change

By Shelley Spillman

In an eleventh hour decision, Timothy Branson, 51, who was accused of murdering his wife, withdrew a plea of not guilty and entered a plea of guilty Monday.

A jury trial was scheduled for 9 a.m. but, at around 7:30 a.m., jurors were notified that they were not needed because Branson changed his plea to guilty.

According to court documents, Branson accepted the Commonwealth of Kentucky Court of Justice deal to enter a plea of guilty, which amended the charge of murder to first-degree manslaughter.

The plea deal requires Branson to serve 15 years for murder.

For two counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, Branson is required to serve 5 years for each count to run concurrent. The two counts of wanton endangerment will run consecutive to the murder charge for a total of 20 years.

Branson, of 1600 Ballard Road, was indicted for the murder of his wife, Modena Sutton Branson, 50, who was shot to death at her home on Ballard Road in March 2012.

Along with the murder charge, Branson was indicted in 2012 for pointing a loaded firearm at the victim’s daughter, Patricia Darnell, and grandson, Dudley Darnell III, according to Anderson County Circuit Court documents.

After the shooting, Branson reportedly shot himself in the head but survived.

A date for sentencing hasn’t been set at this time.