AUSTIN, Texas - A man indicted on a capital murder charge could spend five years in prison. The charge will likely be dropped to first-degree murder as part of a plea deal.
Anthony Davis is one of two men charged with killing Christopher Branham, 26, on June 24, 2020. The Round Rock father of two was beaten unconscious and robbed in a recorded mob-style attack at the La Quinta Hotel on Parker Drive.
Davis and Kyle Cleveland allegedly then drove Branham to a cornfield near Manor where he was shot and killed.
Three others were implicated in the attack and robbery. Charges were dropped against one man. A juvenile defendant was killed in a car crash after she escaped from "The Refuge", a state-run facility for sex trafficking victims.
In a hearing Thursday, Davis agreed to go on record about what happened the night Branham was murdered. He has also agreed to testify against co-defendants.
If the information he shares with the Travis County District Attorney’s Office is deemed credible his capital murder charge will be dropped to first-degree murder and the office will suggest a sentence of 14 years in prison.
However, sentencing is up to the judge's discretion. The judge could sentence Davis to 5 to 99 years in prison.
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"This is a kind of a standard or typical situation when you have multiple defendants. The state will commonly make a deal with one of the defendants to testify against his cohorts," said Charlie Baird, a criminal defense attorney and retired Travis County Judge.
Christopher Branham’s father, Jim Branham called "14 years" a "slap in the face." He said the family told the District Attorney’s Office that they did not want the deal.
"[The District Attorney’s Office] lied to us. They didn't involve us in it," said Christopher Branham’s mother, Conny Branham. "There are literally people in jail for longer than that for drug-related charges. They haven't even killed anybody."
Conny Branham called the potentially brief sentence "revictimization."
"Hearings are so incredibly hard on victims' families because you literally have to relive everything every time you go to one of those hearings. I don't want to do that times four, you know? I want long sentences to where I want to deal with that, like for a really, really long time."
Registration is currently open for the annual Christopher Branham memorial golf tournament. The tournament will take place on Christopher Branham’s birthday October 14 at the Forest Creek Golf Club. Christopher Branham grew up near and worked at the club.
Funds raised will support causes important to Christopher Branham. They will support local trade school and youth sports scholarships. They will also support nonprofit search and rescue teams.