Bradley County cold case murder suspect arraigned in court

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CLEVELAND, Tennessee (WDEF) —  A Bradley County cold case from 2009 took an interesting twist after the Bradley County District Attorney General addressed the media about the re-arrest of murder suspect Donnie Brantley.

Brantley is accused of killing his wife Marsha but her body was never found.

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“I would just say that it’s my belief after looking at it, the proof led me to one inescapable conclusion in my own mind, which gave me the belief that we should go forward,” said District Attorney General Steve Crump who spoke to news media about why he decided to have Brantley indicted for the second time in three years.

The man suspected of killing his wife was arraigned in court Tuesday afternoon where he asked for a reduction in the $250,000 bond that he is currently being held on. The bond reduction was denied.

Back in 2009 Brantley’s wife was reported missing by her coworker. She has not been seen since then.



Circumstantial evidence including behavior by her husband led authorities to name Brantley as a suspect in her disappearance.

Her family had long suspected that Brantley killed her but authorities never found her body.

In 2013, Brantley was indicted for her murder, but by 2014 the case was dropped because both the family and the DA’s office felt the case was not strong enough to get a conviction. They feared they only had one chance to get it right because if he was found not guilty, he could never stand trial for the same case.

A month ago, Brantley was indicted for a second time and was charged with murder. He was arrested this past Friday by U.S. Marshals in Cartersville Georgia.

New 12 asked General Crump if he was 100-percent sure his office could guarantee a murder  conviction without a body.

“I never deal with percentages. I think prosecutors that deal with percentages make a grave error. My job is to advocate on. Behalf of the state of Tennessee and to put forth a case that I believe is appropriate, in this case I believe it is appropriate. I trust my jurors in this district and I believe they will m are the right decision,” Crump said.

Brantley is due back in court next Tuesday for a hearing to discuss the status of his legal representation.