Judge revokes Brandon's bond in DUI death

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Wesley Brandon will be held in jail until his Lee County trial surrounding the 2011 vehicular death of John E. Bell.
On Thursday, Circuit Judge James L. Roberts Jr. agreed with prosecutor John Weddle that Brandon’s $35,000 bond be revoked after hearing that the 31-year-old Belden man was arrested in February on a charge of possession of heroin.
He was taken into custody immediately. The next court term during which he could be tried is in August.
State law allows for the revocation of bond if a person charged with a felony is indicted on a felony crime. An indictment is a formal criminal charge made by a grand jury.
Brandon’s attorney, Frank Russell of Tupelo, argued that his client has not been indicted on the drug charge.
But Roberts said enough probable cause existed for an arrest, and that was enough for him to revoke the bond.
A Lee County grand jury indicted Brandon on April 18 on a DUI-death charge in Bell’s May 14, 2011, death. Ten days later, he was arraigned, pleaded not guilty and posted a $50,000 appearance bond.
The motion to revoke his bond, filed May 23 by the District Attorney’s Office, states that 11 days after Bell’s death, Brandon was released from the Lee County jail on $250,000 bond.
His release now, the motion states, “would constitute a special danger” to the community.
State narcotics agent Bryan Rushing testified that on May 5, he witnessed a surveillance of Brandon in an alleged deal to sell heroin and later was part of the team arresting Brandon at his workplace, charging him with possession of heroin with intent to distribute. The agent said he didn’t witness the alleged discovery of a small amount of heroin on Brandon during the arrest.
On the witness stand, Brandon’s voice trembled emotionally when he said he faithfully pays child support for a daughter and that no one else will contribute to her if he were to be jailed.
patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com