Family Speaks About Donnie Brantley's Dismissed Murder Charge

Reported by: Alisha Searl
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Updated: 5/14 6:50 pm
CLEVELAND, TN (WDEF) - Medra Justis, Marsha Brantley's Aunt, says, "It will not be forgotten as long as I have breath in my body."

Medra Justis and her family put a hold on her niece's 2009 cold case that had been heating back up for the last nine months.

Justis adds, "Jana and I had prayed about it and we felt like this was not the time, that God was directing us to wait."

Just days before Donnie Brantley was supposed to go to trial for reportedly murdering his wife, Marsha, Justis met with law enforcement officials and told them, let's wait for more evidence.

Justis adds, "There's other evidence that I really can't go into that we're looking at."

The prosecution has one shot at trial.

So, if Brantley was found not guilty this week and evidence was found years down the road linking him to the disappearance, it wouldn't matter.

You cannot be charged for the same crime twice.

That's why Justis said she's being overly cautious now.

Justis adds, "We probably could have gone on and won the case, but we didn't want to take the chance."

Steve Crump will be taking over for current District Attorney General, Steve Bebb, in the coming weeks.

Justis is confident they'll be working closely to put together another case when more evidence presents itself.

Justis adds, "We're not going to be sitting around twiddling our thumbs, we're probably passing out flyers and trying to talk to people and we got a new district attorney coming in and I feel certain that he will be helping and with new eyes looking on it .. There may have been some things that got missed."

For the time being, Brantley is cleared of all criminal charges.

But there is still a civil suit spending and it involves the Brantley home.

If Marsha's family wins that suit, then they get to sell the home, which already has an offer on it.

And if that's the case, money from the sale will go toward a Lee University Scholarship set up in Marsha's name.

The civil suit against Brantley is scheduled for June.
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CountrynotDumb - 5/15/2014 6:52 PM
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CountrynotDumb - 5/15/2014 7:58 PM I just heard about this Yesterday, and googled it. My initial reaction was No Way. If you ever knew Donnie personally, you would say no way too. I haven't seen or heard from him since I worked with him 8 years ago. But he was as Country, Honest, and straightforward as they come. I am a pretty good judge of character normally, and I could be wrong. But I doubt it. Read that story again, and consider the Statement from the officials, Should be open and shut right? Perhaps the Cleveland / Bradley County officers should stick to targeting Minorities on the side of I-75. They seem to have them pulled over every time I travel that piece of highway. Any one else notice that?
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