Bradley County cold case heads to trial

BRADLEY COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — A Bradley County cold case from 2009, involving a woman who disappeared and never was found, heads to trial next week with her husband charged in her murder.

It has been nearly a decade since Marsha Brantley was reported missing by her coworker. She was last seen in June of 2009.

In 2012, Marsha’s aunt, Medra Justis, was able to sort through her niece’s belongings.

“It gives me a lot of hope,” Justis said.

Marsha’s body was never found. Family members suspected her husband, Donnie Brantley.

“She was just thrown away, like somebody had no respect for her and we know who that was. And Donnie Brantley is going to pay for what he has done to her,” Justis said.

Circumstantial evidence including behavior by Brantley lead investigators to name him a suspect in his wife’s disappearance.

In 2013, Brantley, was indicted for Marsha’s murder, but a year later it was dropped because family and the District Attorney’s office felt the case was not strong enough to get a conviction.

In December of 2016, District Attorney General Steve Crump decided to indict Brantley for the second time.

“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 make the right decision,” Crump said.

Jurors will have that chance next week when the trial starts.

Family members have said they want answers and closure for Marsha.

“Our goal is to find her and give her a final resting place,” Justis told us back in 2012.

Jury selection for Donnie Brantley’s trial will be on Monday.

Categories: Bradley County, Local News

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