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Sat, Dec. 14

Felon wanted rehab, got prison instead

Donald Glen Branson

Donald Glen Branson

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.

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