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10/3/2012 6:01:00 AM
Felon wanted rehab, got prison instead
Donald Glen Branson
Donald Glen Branson

Erin Taylor
Miner Staff Reporter


A man with five prior felony convictions has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for a Golden Valley burglary in which a neighbor held him at gunpoint until authorities arrived.

Donald Glen Branson, 31, was found guilty at trial in August of burglary in the third degree and possession of burglary tools for a theft that took place Sept. 13, 2011, on Elgin Road. Branson was reportedly caught leaving the garage by a 70-year-old neighbor who held him at gunpoint while waiting for deputies from the Mohave County Sheriff's Office.

Branson ran from the man after about 20 minutes but was arrested a short time later after he was found hiding in an abandoned trailer in the 500 block of Ehrenburg.

Branson reportedly told the neighbor who held him at gunpoint that he was just looking for gasoline when he broke into the garage. Authorities said ignition wires had been ripped out of a tractor as though Branson had been trying to hotwire it. Branson also had a trailer attached to his vehicle parked near the garage, presumably to transport the tractor.

The man whose garage was broken into lost more than $30,000 worth of tools and antiques in a burglary just 10 days before Branson was caught on his property. He believes Branson and his associates were responsible for that incident and he's attended every hearing in Branson's case for the last year.

"This was more than just me being a victim," he said. "It's about these people victimizing the entire valley."

Residents in the area had been on alert following a series of burglaries. The neighbors recorded license plates of suspicious vehicles and actively looked for the stolen goods around town in an effort to aid the investigation. That led to several other pending charges against other people.

Branson faced up to 16 years in prison. Judge Derek Carlisle sentenced him to an aggravated sentence of 12 years because of his prior felony convictions.

A charge of unlawful flight from law enforcement for running from deputies in December 2011 is still pending.

In a note to the court before his sentencing hearing, Branson said he didn't think prison time was appropriate.

"In all of my past proceedings I have never been offered a chance at rehabilitation in the form of a live-in home or similar program," he wrote.

KRMC (career choice)-46961
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• Golden Valley residents hold burglar at gunpoint


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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, October 6, 2012
Article comment by: Old Classmate

When I saw Donald's face I was shocked! I went to school with this young man, and he was a good kid. In fact he was a great kid and a great student. He was popular and loved ridding dirtbikes all over GV. He was raised by a single parent and unfortunatly like most people in GV got introduced to the wrong crowd, became a drug abuser and obviously has had quiet a few run in's with the law. I am saddended to see this article and to see what his life has become. We were childhood friends and I know how hard his life was. Please keep this young man in mind the next time you see a child dealing with hard times, and struggling, because just an ounze of interest in a child can prevent tragic happenings like this. Drugs turn even the most decent of people into monsters and its a HARD habit to break and kick when there is no one there to help. Just as all of you have given up on him and feel there are no more chances available...and want to judge with your harsh words, people make mistakes, and perhaps if he received the help that he needed he could be a sucessful turn around story, YES it does happen all the time. I am sorry my childhood friend, I wish your life could have been better, and that you could have had the love and support of a caring family to guide and encourage you.

Posted: Saturday, October 6, 2012
Article comment by: Abe Outime

See ya donald!


Posted: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@Cudos

"Hard times"

Unless it is hard times because the price of drugs has skyrocketed in recent years (and it has not) it has nothing to do with this crime and little or nothing to do with most others around here. Just local losers doing what they can for drug money.

But I agree with "I can't figure out how to turn off Caps Lock" Stuart Varnon. The homeowner should have shot him and saved the taxpayers a lot of money. Let's face it, the guy is a career criminal and will be one until the day he dies.


Posted: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Article comment by: P. Layne Truth

If he spent the time and effort he did trying to commit ths crime looking for a job he MIGHT have one. He's 31 years old, probably considers himself "a man" but he still needs society to hold his hand and take care of him. I love it when tough gangster thugs break down and cry.

Posted: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Article comment by: kirk keen

i have to agree with the consensus here. My neighbors one street over we all live in the valley two just had two of their trailboss quads stolen while we all slept at night. Didnt hear a thing its time we put a stop to people coming onto our property and just taking stuff we have all worked hard to get and enjoy only to have some idiot steal them to sell them for drug money.

Posted: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Article comment by: rod pupuhi

12 years should over qualify you for Rehab..
do the crime do the time..


Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Article comment by: STUART VARON

I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHY THIS YOUNG MAN DID NOT GO TO PRISON ON ONE OF HIS PRIOR FELONE CONVICTIONS..THIS SHOULDN"T HAVE HAPPENED IF HE WAS ALREADY IN PRISON ON HIS PRIORS...HE SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN THE MAXIMUM, OR MAYBE FOR THE TAX PAYERS, BEEN SHOT BUY BY THE NEIGHBOR AT THE SCENE!!!GET REHABED IN PRISON!!!!!!!

Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Article comment by: Cudos to homeowner

Every homeowner including responsible renters need to consider taking a page from the 70 yr old homeowner mentioned.

During hard times this kind of thing is going to happen everywhere. Imagine if this homeowner didnt have a firearm to keep this guy on hold for 20 minutes. This dirtbag would have surely have gotten away. Maybe with his truck as well.

This homeowner is obviously a safe gun owner using the on the ground and lay there vesus bang bang call the police method of handling the situation. When he did run the homeonwer knew better then to "wing" him. He was leaving a truck and trailer behind with plenty of ways to ID him.

This is a great example of cool headed control by a responsible gun owner.



Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Article comment by: tj denton

just this one sentence will cost az tax payers more than $600,000

something has got to be done about the justice system, twelve years is a little heavy for breaking into a home.


Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

"Branson said he didn't think prison time was appropriate"

LOL! Family, friends (other criminals) and enablers will be chiming in soon to tell us how he is just misunderstood and it is not his fault.


Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Article comment by: Three Strikes?

Does AZ have a "Three Strikes" law? And, if not, then why not? Guys like this exploit everyone in society, yet, they whine and cry that they haven't been offered "rehab". Rehab yourself- stay off of other folks' property and stop being a thief. It's really that simple. Twelve years isn't enough for a repeat felon.



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